West Wittering man Keats Harvey who groomed and assaulted four children - the youngest being a toddler - is convicted of 14 counts of child sexual abuse
A CHILD abuser who sought out jobs where he would have access to children has been found guilty of assault.
American national Keats Harvey, who lives in West Wittering, has been convicted of 14 counts of child sexual abuse.
The 24-year-old groomed and sexually assaulted four children, the youngest of whom was a toddler, and had a catalogue of almost 9,000 indecent images of children on his electronic devices.
He was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his home in May 2020, and investigators identified four children who had been abused by Harvey, all of whom were under 10 years old and have since been safeguarded.
Harvey met his victims through other adults he knew and assaulted one of the children whilst at a party.
He made multiple further attempts to meet and abuse children by befriending vulnerable adults with kids and applying for jobs at places where we knew he would have access to children, including hospitals and nurseries.
At Hove Crown Court yesterday, Harvey was found guilty of six counts of possessing indecent images of children, two counts of possessing prohibited images, two counts of taking and one of distributing an indecent photo of a child, two counts of assaulting a child under 13 by touching, and meeting a girl under 16 following grooming.
He will be sentenced at the same court on October 8.
Peter Stevens, branch commander at the NCA, said: ‘Keats Harvey was conducting very serious offending, not just online but by physically abusing young children.
‘On top of this, he was actively trying to befriend adults who had children and had researched jobs on the internet, at hospitals and nurseries, all with the aim of gaining access to children.
‘In my view he is an offender whose behaviour was escalating in terms of the severity of the offending he was trying to commit.
‘Prosecuting individuals like Harvey who pose a sexual risk to children is a priority for the NCA.
‘My team worked tirelessly, with support from the Crown Prosecution Service, analysing reams of particularly disturbing material to build the case against him and ensure he would face justice.
‘We also worked closely with policing partners to identify offenders and safeguard victims.
‘In this case, Sussex and Hampshire Police provided significant support to the investigation.’