Chantelle Johnson

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I consider this was deliberate, well-planned, targeted abuse of young girls. The case reveals a clear ability to manipulate and construct plausible lies
~ sentencing judge[1][2]

Chantelle Johnson is an English teenage paedophile who pretended to be a boy in order to sexually abuse young girls.

This case is similar to other British cases like Gemma Barker and Sebastian Pritchard-Jones, who were also cases of women pretending to be men in order to romance other women.

The case

Johnson, 19 when convicted, was a footballer for Middlesbrough FC Ladies.[2] She used male personas to contact girls of 12 and 13 in 2015 and 2016.[1] Her address was Daleville Close, Beechwood, Middlesbrough.[3]

One victim was contacted by Johnson in 2015 when she was 12, the latter posing as a 13-year-old boy called Drew. Johnson sent flattering messages and arranged dates but stood the victim up, then presented her real self as a shoulder to cry on and then sexually abusing the trusting youngster between December 2015 and June 2016.[2]

A second victim was 13 when Johnson used her Drew identity to contact her via Instagram, also flattering her and forming a relationship. Johnson started sending sexual messages and said she wanted to insert her fingers into the victim, but the victim said she was too young for such things. They met up on several occasions with Johnson using a hoodie to disguise herself as she had long hair; they kissed intimately and Johnson put her hand down the girls' trousers during one meeting.[2]

A third victim, 12, sent Johnson pictures of herself in her underwear after being persuaded to do so by Johnson posing as a boy called Nathan.[2] Johnson also created fake personas for family members of Drew including his father,[1] inviting one victim to attend her eight-year-old sister's funeral.[3] Johnson named her imaginary deceased sister Ellie Mae and met a victim dressed in black, saying he had been to the funeral.[1]

A suspicious parent contacted police and Johnson was arrested.[3] She entered pleas of guilty to meeting children following sexual grooming, sexual assault including by penetration, causing children to engage in sexual activity, a child porn offence, and perverting the course of justice by destroying a SIM card and deleting social media information.[1][2] She was jailed for nine years and four months at Teeside Crown Court in 2017.[3] She will be a registered sex offender for life and has a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order which bans work and unsupervised contact with children and limits her online activities.[1]

In mitigation her lawyer said "She is socially isolated, exceptionally immature and is vulnerable in her own right" and had suffered an unstable family from the age of 8.[2]