Convicted of tricking four men into having sex with him
A 34-year-old man from Wandsworth has been found guilty of tricking a number of other men into engaging in sexual activity with him while pretending to be a woman.
Duarte Xavier of Hardwick Square was convicted at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 5 October after earlier pleading not guilty.
The court heard that Xavier had carried out his crimes over several years. He would use online dating websites and Craigslist to masquerade as a female named ‘Ana’, entering into conversations and sending provocative pictures to heterosexual men, who were fooled by his online persona into meeting for sex.
When they agreed to meet ‘Ana’ would set a series of conditions, including that the victim must wear a blindfold for the duration of the encounter and would not be allowed to touch.
On the first reported incident on 17 February 2016, a 45-year-old victim had been communicating with ‘Ana’ through a dating app and arranged to meet at ‘her’ flat in Hardwick Square, Wandsworth. Upon arrival he heard ‘Ana’ call his name and put the blindfold on. The pair began having sex when the victim realized something was wrong and removed the blindfold, when he saw Xavier.
He stormed out but later received a message from Xavier saying ‘I got a mental health problem, sorry’. The victim ordered Xavier to delete all record of their communication, to which he replied that he already had.
On 15 October 2017, a 29-year-old male messaged ‘Ana’ via a dating app and received a response that ‘she’ was a recently single female ‘looking for a bit of fun’. The pair talked over WhatsApp, exchanging pictures and even a video call; the victim had no reason to suspect that he was not speaking to a woman.
They arranged to meet for sex the same day at Xavier’s flat and the same scenario played out as with the previous victim. He heard what he thought was a female voice saying ‘stay there, don’t take off and don’t move the mask’. A person then approached from behind and tied the blindfold tighter. He was led into another room where ‘Ana’ began to perform a sexual act. The victim took off the blindfold and saw Xavier. He left in disgust immediately having been in the property for only a few minutes. Xavier began sending messages to the victim, apologising and saying there must have been a misunderstanding, but continued to send suggestive messages.
The victim reported the incident to police and Xavier was arrested on 16 October 2017 on suspicion of causing sexual activity with a person without consent. He was released under investigation after a number of mobile phones and masks were also seized.
The third incident took place on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. The victim, a 26-year-old man, had been searching on dating web sites when he received a message from ‘Ana’, advertising herself as a 35-year-old woman.
The pair arranged a video call via WhatsApp, where ‘Ana’ stated that she had to conceal her identity so as to avoid getting caught because she was married. The pair arranged to meet at the flat, which was in darkness when the victim arrived. He said ‘hello’ and was instructed to close the door and come upstairs. As the victim went upstairs, he felt a person grab him and pull his trousers down. An item, believed to be a pillow case, was put over his head.
He asked to see that the person he had been communicating with was actually female, to which ‘Ana’ said ‘no’ and began performing a sexual act. The victim used the light from his mobile phone and discovered that it was Xavier.
The victim was horrified and said he would tell police, to which Xavier responded ‘good, I will too’. The victim went outside and called police; Xavier was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and later charged in relation to the incident. He was remanded and later bailed at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.
The police review Xavier’s mobile phone records and found a fourth victim who had been too embarrassed to report the incident which occurred on 5 December 2016. ‘Ana’ had told him that she like to engage in roleplay in which her partner was blindfolded. Later Ana told him that ‘her’ landlady was home and an arrangement was made to meet at King George’s Park in Wandsworth at 7pm. The victim had trouble finding the meeting place and called ‘Ana’; again he had no reason to suspect he was not talking to a female, commenting in later interviews to police that ‘Ana’ sounded like a foreign woman.
He went to the agreed spot, a secluded area, when ‘Ana’ arrived and performed a sexual act on him before they had sex. ‘Ana’ then left and the victim was left entirely unaware that he had had sex with Xavier.
WhatsApp records of conversations between the pair revealed that the victim had not realized what had happened and at no point did Xavier reveal his true identity.
As a result the pair arranged to meet again a few days later, on the same terms and same place. This time the victim held off on putting on the blindfold, curious as to who he was meeting. When Xavier approached, the pair saw each other and Xavier tried to hide. When the victim asked what he was doing, Xavier claimed to have believed that the victim was bisexual and approved of the arrangement.
The victim was distraught by the revelation; Xavier offered to pay his cab fare home, to which the victim said no and that he did not want to be contacted by him ever again.
Detective Constable Lucy Marsh, of Wandsworth police, said, “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.
“Xavier has demonstrated extreme manipulation and cunning in order to satisfy his own sexual gratification, setting bizarre conditions that the victims adhered to in the belief that they were part of the experience.
“He is a sexual predator and I hope the victims, all of whom were traumatised by their experiences, will now feel that they have achieved some justice. I thank them for their bravery not only in telling us of their ordeals, but in facing difficult and challenging questions throughout the judicial process.
“We are also entirely aware that there may be other potential victims of Xavier who, so far, have also felt too ashamed to speak to police. I would ask those people to come forward, to tell us, and we will treat you with the utmost sensitivity and in the strictest of confidence.”
Xavier has been remanded in custody to be sentenced on Friday, 9 November.
October 5, 2018