A man who posed as a modelling agent in order to target and sexually exploit three teenage girls has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years.
Benjamin Agyemang’s offences spanned two decades, with police saying there may be many other victims who are yet to come forward.
A court heard how he would use an alias and target girls aged between 14 and 16. He would offer them work as models before sexually abusing them in his south-east London flat.
Agyemang, 45, was sentenced at Inner London crown court on Thursday, after being found guilty in September. Judge Rosina Cottage KC said: “In my view you are a predator. You used your charisma to target teenage girls for yours and others’ sexual exploitation.”
Speaking before Agyemang’s sentencing, Neveah*, now 29, told the Guardian how in 2021 she reported offences of sexual assault and exploitation that took place when she was 14.
Agyeman approached her while she was in her school uniform. Agyeman, who went by the name Marshay Ramone, told her she was beautiful and that he could get her into modelling.
She was manipulated into staying at his flat for weeks at a time, where she was repeatedly attacked and sexually abused by Agyemang and several other men. He went on to sexually abuse her until she was able to escape in 2012.
Neveah said she was motivated to report the offences to the police over fears that Agyeman would continue targeting teenage girls, but found the process “very, very difficult” as it meant reliving what had happened to her 15 years earlier.
“I repress a lot without realising, I disassociated a lot,” she said. “So going through this whole process, I’m having to relive everything, things that I had repressed so much to the point of forgetting. It’s taken a serious toll on my mental health. But then at the same time I’m doing something to vindicate myself and my friends.”
She said she was “very happy” at the guilty verdict, but did not initially think Agyemang would face justice due to the difficulties when it comes to prosecuting crimes that had happened in the past. “Even I didn’t think that I was going to get justice to this extent,” she said.
Soraya*, 36, another victim-survivor, said the verdict came as a relief. She said: “I was shocked, happily shocked, I think I just sat down for an hour and didn’t move. But I was happy.
“I wanted to have justice done, I wanted to be a part of it. I keep saying I’m a mum now, and looking at a teenage girl I’m more protective, and teenage girls should never be targeted.”
Agyemang was in September found guilty of one count of attempting to procure a girl under the age of 21 to have unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and four counts of sexual activity with a child.
He was also ordered to spend a further four years on licence, was subjected to a sexual harm prevention order, and was prohibited from living with, working with, or having any unsupervised contact with children under 16.
Kate Orr, who carried out the criminal investigation as part of the Met’s specialist crime team, said she was “incredibly relieved” by the guilty verdict.
She said: “One of the main reasons why was that the women who had given evidence had been so much, and had been so brave to have gone through this, that they would have felt so let down by the process if there hadn’t been a guilty verdict. I also felt incredibly relieved, because members of the public and future victims were protected.”
*Names have been changed