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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Singer guilty of 16 sex assaults

Article from the BBC

A man who was a backing singer for top acts has been convicted of 16 counts of sexual assault.

Jason Hoyte was called "every parent's nightmare" by the Metropolitan Police, which said he befriended adults and then targeted their children.

He attended Pentecostal churches in south London to find his victims, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Hoyte, 37, of Court Farm Road, Bromley, south-east London, denied all charges, which went back over a 20-year period.

Hoyte admitted sending a text message to one girl saying that he loved her, and mentioned that another youngster had a crush on him, but said no other activities had taken place.

After 17 hours of deliberations over four days, however, the jury decided Hoyte was lying.

He was convicted of 14 counts of indecent assault and two of sexual activity with a child, between 1987 and 2006.

He was cleared of three other indecent-assault counts as well as four allegations of sexual activity.

'Benefit of doubt'

The married father-of-two joined various congregations and was a youth worker.

"He took advantage of the trust placed in him in that position," prosecutor Nicholas Atkinson said.

"He would win the trust of the families, with their parents, before the abuse took place, sometimes... in their own homes."

He would target teenagers and "act towards them like an older brother", before sending them late-night text messages containing "inappropriate language", Mr Atkinson said.

His actions had an enormous impact on the communities who welcomed him and saw him as one of their own
Det Sgt Samantha Townsend
Metropolitan Police

Many children did not complain and some adults were "hesitant about what to do", he added.

Concerns had been raised on various occasions, but Hoyte was repeatedly given the benefit of the doubt by some church leaders and parents.

One victim testified that he abused her "too many times to count".

Another tried to persuade ITV1's The Jeremy Kyle Show to invite Hoyte to appear and take a lie-detector test, but programme researchers told her the allegations were too serious to broadcast.

Det Sgt Samantha Townsend said Hoyte was "every parent's nightmare - the family friend who appears respectable and trustworthy but turns out to be a fraud".

"His actions had an enormous impact on the communities who welcomed him and saw him as one of their own," she added.

Hoyte was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 11 December.


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