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Jailed: American businessman who sexually assaulted girl, 11, in Willesden

PUBLISHED: 15:29 06 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:00 07 April 2016

John Mandeng has been jailed for five years

John Mandeng has been jailed for five years

Archant

A predatory American businessman who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl he met through a Catholic prayer group has been jailed for five years today.

John Mandeng, 47, molested the girl twice when she was alone in the bedroom of a property in Willesden, on a day between January 2005 and December 2006.

The Old Bailey heard he had gained the trust of his victim’s family which ‘produced the perfect opportunity for predatory sexual behaviour.’

She first complained about Mandeng several years after the attack, asking teachers at her school what could be done about ‘things in the past’.

But once she had been interviewed, police found Mandeng had returned to the USA and could not be traced.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was traced after sending tweets to his victim in 2013.

During his trial prosecutor Gary Venturi said: “Over time he became more and more tactile with the victim.

“On the day of the incident she was alone with him in the property with another child and what had started as overly tactile horseplay moved to something more sinister.

“‘He followed her to the bedroom where he found her laying on her back on top of the bed clothes.

“He then began groping her.”

In December he was convicted of two counts of sexually touching a child.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on a single rape allegation and he was cleared of that charge today after a retrial.

The court heard the attacks devastated the girl who now has ‘started to break’ and has weight and hygiene issues.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Thornton QC said: “You were trusted by the mother and daughter and you abused that trust in a terrible way.”

Mandeng will be deported after he has served his sentence.

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