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Victoria man found guilty of luring girl, 13

Oct 14 2012

A Victoria man has been convicted of Internet luring and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in the fall of 2009.

Aaron Craig, who was 22 at the time of the offence, was also convicted of touching the teenager for a sexual purpose.

The B.C. Supreme Court jury deliberated for five hours before reaching its verdict on Friday night.

During the trial, court heard that Craig contacted the teen, whose identity is protected, through the social media website Nexopia, then met her in person.

After their first meeting, the teen testified, the online chats became more sexual. She asked if he could buy her alcohol.

"If it's worth my time, I'll come," he said.

When they met, they went into some bushes and had sexual intercourse, then walked to a liquor store, where Craig bought her a bottle of vodka. The teen never saw him again.

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Leslie Baskerville said it is a criminal offence for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 16 if the adult knows or believes they are under the age of 16.

"Whether the teen consented to the sexual touching is irrelevant," she said. According to the law, "a 13-year-old is incapable of consent."

Defence lawyer Chris Brennan suggested the teen told Craig she was 16, which she denied.

A date for Craig's sentencing will be set on Oct. 31.

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