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Ex-USmarine `groomed' girl; Man flew to Paris for sex with 12-year-old.

Byline: HUGO DUNCAN and MATT COOPER

A FORMER United States marine who ``groomed'' a 12-year-oldBritish girl on the internet,had sex with her in a Paris hotel, a court heard yesterday.

Toby Studabaker, 33,flew to the French capital with the girl after an arranged meeting at Manchester Airport on July 12, 2003.

The following night they drank vodka in the hotel before having sex in their room.

Studabaker, from Michigan, pleaded guilty yesterday at Manchester Crown Court to child abduction and to inciting a child to commit gross indecency.

The court heard that a year earlier the pair had ``met'' on the internet.

Beverly Lunt, prosecuting, said Studabaker had ``groomed'' the girl ``so that she would not object to the sexual activity that took place once they were out of the UK''.

After the hearing, the girl's family, from Greater Manchester, said the ordeal last year had been ``absolutely horrendous''.

They said they feared their experience was only ``the tip of the iceberg'' and called for changes to the law.

Studabaker was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register and will be sentenced on April 2.

Studabaker was arrested in Frankfurt in Germany on July 16 and was extradited to Britain in August.

He could now face extradition to the US where a Federal Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment against him in December 2003.

Mr Justice Leveson said Studabaker would not be sentenced for alleged sexual intercourse with the 12-year- oldgirl. He said: ``It is important to underline that neither of these offences concerns an act of sexual intercourse.

He said it was not an offence in this country to have sex with an under- age girl in France.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2004
Words:281
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