A British court convicted a 33-year-old man who was accused of pretending to be a woman on dating apps and websites and tricking four men to have sex with him.
According to a report from Sputnik News, Duarte Xavier was convicted on Friday at Kingston Crown Court in London of six counts of causing a male 13-years-old and above to engage in sexual activity. The acts allegedly took place over the past two years, as the court found that Xavier, while using the pseudonym “Ana,” used a number of dating services, including Tinder and Lovoo, as well as Craigslist to look for men whom he could have sex with.
As further noted by Sputnik News, Xavier’s modus operandi as “Ana” involved engaging men in sexually charged conversations, but only meeting up with them for sex if they agreed to wear a blindfold during the entire course of their encounter and agreed not to make physical contact during intercourse.
Duarte Xavier’s alleged victims included a man who arrived at his apartment in February 2016 and was asked via WhatsApp to put on a blindfold before entering the bedroom. During the purported encounter, he reportedly grew suspicious and took off his blindfold, storming out after he realized that he was actually having sex with another man. According to Sputnik News, Xavier later sent the then-45-year-old man a text message, apologizing for what happened and explaining that he “[has] a mental health problem.”
Duarte Xavier, 34, of #Wandsworth was found guilty today of causing four unknowing males to engage in penetrative sexual activity after they were fooled into meeting for sex in the belief he was female. Sentencing is 9 November. https://t.co/KiGy0eWulo pic.twitter.com/H93HMkPG05— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) October 5, 2018
A second man, aged 29 at the time the incident purportedly took place, claimed to have met a woman named Ana, who introduced herself as a someone “looking for a bit of fun” when they first communicated in October 2017. While the two had a video call shortly after, the man recalled that he had no idea that he was actually speaking to another male. Like the first accuser, he grew suspicious and fled the apartment “in disgust” after Xavier, while pretending to be Ana, allegedly performed a sexual act on him.
Xavier’s other accusers included a 26-year-old man who claimed he needed to wear a blindfold because “Ana” was supposedly married and wanted her identity to be kept a secret, and a 29-year-old man who, unlike the others, was not even aware that he was having sex with a man.
“The crimes Xavier committed are unique in their depravity; all of the victims had no reason to believe that they were not engaging with a woman and all have stated unequivocally that they would never have given their consent to sexual relations with another man,” said Detective Constable Lucy Marsh of the Metropolitan Police.
Likewise, Kunal Dave of the Crown Prosecution Service told BBC News that Xavier carried out a “grave deception” in each of the times he supposedly tricked men into having sex with him by pretending to be female.
“I hope today’s conviction not only makes clear just how important consent is, but also gives these victims some measure of comfort, and sends a message to other victims that they are not alone.”
Duarte Xavier’s conviction came more than a year after a similar case took place in the United Kingdom, this time involving a woman who reportedly pretended to be a man in order to have sex with another female. According to the Independent, Gayle Newland was found guilty in July 2017 of sexual assault after she created a Facebook profile using an assumed name and an American man’s photos, then used a prosthetic penis while having sex with her victim. Similar to Xavier, Newland allegedly requested that her victim wear a blindfold “at all times” whenever they would spent time together.
Xavier, a resident of Bournemouth who lived in Wandsworth at the time he allegedly committed the crimes, is scheduled for sentencing on November 9, according to BBC News.