A local politician from the U.K. was just convicted of over a dozen sex charges involving multiple teenagers in a Southampton Crown Court.
49-year-old Mark McCormick is the former chair of Bursledon Parish Council in Hampshire, England. Last Friday, he was slapped with a 17-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 14 charges involving sex with several teenagers ranging from 14- to 17-years-old.
The BBC reports:
McCormick, of Griffon Close, Bursledon, near Southampton, was sentenced on Friday after admitting seven counts of indecent assault on boys and four counts of inciting boys to commit acts of gross indecency.
He also pleaded guilty to the rape, sexually assaulting a man and taking an indecent photo of a boy.
The assaults happened between 1997 and 2011 while McCormick was working as a part-time DJ and would frequently play at parties, clubs, and other events.
Prosecutor Jenny Russell described him as “a man attractive to young people interested in music” but who was secretly “a calculating sexual predator who used young people for his own gratification.”
“They were excited about being associated to someone who was living a glamorous lifestyle,” Russell said.
McCormick would often employ teenagers as “roadies”, only to force them into having sex with him later on.
He would also throw lavish sex parties at his home where he would supply the teens with alcohol and, according to one victim, announce “does anyone want fun?” before sexually assaulting them.
One victim testified that he passed out at one of McCormick’s parties only to wake up later to find McCormick “naked except for a condom.”
Another said that he was just 14 when McCormick “masturbated him” and that “what they were doing was normal. Everybody does it.”
The Eastleigh News reports:
On other occasions the DJ drove his victims, mostly boys aged 14 – 16, to known ‘dogging’ spots at Netley and Hamble to perform sex acts on them. One boy was driven by McCormick to Southampton Common where he was forced to have oral sex with strangers. He also pestered the boy for anal sex. When the boy threatened to go to the police McCormick replied “Who are they going to believe? Me, or you, a stupid little kid?”
Several of McCormick’s victims testified against him, where they labeled him a “leech,” a “sick-minded puppeteer”, and a “very clever man who manipulated me”.
Prosecutors also pointed out that McCormick’s Grindr profile showed “a clear interest in meeting young people” by advertising his desire to play “daddy and son roles”.
When he was first busted in 2017, McCormick denied everything, saying he’s never had sex with anyone under the age of 18 and that he was “a caring person, a father figure who has cared too much.”
He also tried claiming his accusers were lying on behalf of someone who held a longstanding grudge against him.
McCormick has since changed his story, saying he feels “profound remorse” for what he did and pleading guilty on Friday to one count of rape, three of indecent activity with a child, three counts of multiple incidents of indecent assault on a child, five of indecent assault on a male person, one of sexual assault and one count of taking indecent photographs of a child.
“You should have been brought to account earlier,” Judge Nicholas Rowland said before sentencing McCormick to 17 years behind bars. “Your victims were vulnerable and you used that to control and manipulate them.”