Three 15-year-old girls from Kirkconnel got a surprise visit from a sexual predator who had groomed them online for months.
It started out as silly chats on Facebook. The girls lied and said they were 21. Ironically, the man behind the keyboard also fudged on his age a bit and said he was 21 as well. In reality, he was 31-year-old Serge Arsenault.
During the course of their three month online relationship, Arsenault found out the subject of his affection was only 15. This did not deter his pursuit.
The girls thought it was all harmless fun and that he would never travel so far to meet them. Arsenault traveled over 3,000 miles to meet them last Spring. He arranged flight from his home in
Arsenault wanted one of the girls to go back to his hotel room, but she refused. The girls began thinking that things might get way out of hand and tried walking away from the station to the home of the 15-year-old girl he was targeting.
Arsenault had traveled far and would not be so easily dismissed. He parked his car and then followed the girls on foot. He even followed the girls into the home of the 15-year-old girl. One parent stated, “He walked with them and actually got into our house. I couldn’t believe he had been in our house, anything could have happened. She started screaming and he left.”
The situation could have easily turned tragic and grisly. The girls were very fortunate in that Arsenault returned to his car. A local resident had seen the girls with a strange man in a strange car and called the police.
The parents harshly scolded the girls on the foolishness of their actions. One parent stated, “When I found out I made it clear to her what could have happened. I said the three of them could have been raped and then had their throats slit.”
Arsenault was later arrested. He has been sentenced to a 16 month jail term and must remain on the sex offender’s registry for 10 years.
This story oringally appeared in the Dumfries & Galloway Standard.