How Yorkshire detectives identified a girl being sexually abused in videos downloaded by a paedophile

Specialist detectives investigating a North Yorkshire paedophile managed to identify a young victim being abused in videos he had downloaded, police have revealed.

Mark Anthony Boyce, 56, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, at York Crown Court today (Thursday)after pleading guilty to downloading a series of indecent images of children.

North Yorkshire Police have since revealed that detectives investigating his offending had to watch footage of a man appearing to rape a young girl, identifying features from the scene to pinpoint where in the world it had been filmed.

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The detectives were initially alerted to Boyce’s offending after receiving information in early 2019 that indecent images had been shared online from an address in Whitby.

North Yorkshire Police helped to identify a girl in America who was filmed being abused in footage downloaded by a man in Whitby. Picture: Adobe Stock Images

Following an investigation, Boyce was arrested in October and has been in custody for the past six months.

The court heard that 11,145 of the most serious Category A images, 12,177 Category B images and 121,047 Category C images.

He also admitted distributing two Category C images, possessing 150 prohibited images of a child and possessing 114 extreme pornographic images.

In a sinister turn, detectives investigating Boyce found two videos in his collection that appeared to show a man raping a girl aged between 10 and 12.

York Crown Court

A specialist victim identification officer was able to trace the girl from the videos by using various features from the scene to help determine the location.

Detectives alerted forces in the US and Queensland, Australia, managing to identify the victim and suspect.

Jesse Anthony Garcia, aged 29, from Goodyear, Arizona, was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor on March 22, 2020. He appeared before court the following day and remains in custody.

The child has since been safeguarded.

Boyce was also ordered to complete a course of rehabilitation and has been placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Detective Sergeant Lee Allenby, Online Abuse and Exploitation Team:“North Yorkshire Police is committed to preventing child sexual abuse, helping victims and bringing offenders to justice.

“It is a crime that can affect a child at anytime and anywhere. Those who obtain and distribute child abuse material - sickening and perverted individuals such as Mark Boyce - directly contribute to the sexual exploitation of children. This is because the children involved are continually re-victimised.

“It is very satisfying that we were able to identify the suspect for alleged offences in another country and ensure the vulnerable young victim is now receiving the professional support and care they so desperately needed.”