Psychiatric reports to be prepared on Harpenden man convicted of having sex with under-age girls

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Psychiatric reports are to be prepared on a Harpenden man convicted of having sex with two under-age girls.

Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, 20, was found guilty of assault by penetration on a 15-year-old girl he met through Facebook in July 2010.

He was bailed after his arrest for that offence and in December of the same year, had sex with a 14-year-old in a car. That led to his conviction for sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutor George Heimler told St Albans Crown Court on Monday that in February, a jury had been unable to agree its verdict on a charge that Abernethy-Cortez had sex with the 15-year-old. A retrial had been set for the Old Bailey but the prosecution had decided not to proceed.

Abernethy-Cortez, of Bramble Close, Harpenden was brought back to St Albans Crown Court to be sentenced on Monday.

His barrister Denis Barry, said the offences were carried out a "considerable time ago" when Abernethy-Cortez was much younger. He said he had now spent 17 and a half months in custody with the offences themselves dating back to 2010.

Mr Barry said the defendant had the support of his adoptive father who was in court and had sent the judge a reference.

"His father says he had learned his lesson. He behaved in a disgraceful and predominately immature way and manipulated relationships."

Judge Martin Griffith adjourned sentencing to February 15 for psychiatric reports and remanded Abertnethy-Cortez in custody. He said he had taken advantage of younger girls who needed to be protected.

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