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Suspect Charged with Raping Teenage Boy

Sussex Police have charged a man in connection with the grooming and rape of a teenage boy. The disturbing incident unfolded after the boy, under the age of 16, received sexual messages from the suspect on Snapchat. The two arranged to meet in Worthing overnight on April 3/4.

The victim endured a harrowing experience, being raped, sexually assaulted, and driven in a car for over three hours before managing to escape. The incident was reported to the police on May 21, prompting an immediate investigation.

Suspect Charged With Raping Teenage Boy

Thomas Crabtree, a 35-year-old resident of Sundew Close in Bedford, was arrested and subsequently charged with multiple offences related to the incident. These charges include rape, assault by penetration, engaging in sexual communication with a child, causing a child to view sexual activity, meeting a boy under 16 years of age following grooming, and taking a child to remove them from a person having lawful control.

Crabtree, also known as Will, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, June 3, where he was remanded in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 1.

Detective Sergeant Paul Heal said: “These allegations have been treated with the upmost seriousness they deserve, and the young victim and his family will continue to receive the full support of Sussex Police and our partners.

“We are asking anyone with information that could help the investigation to contact police online or via 101, quoting serial 1575 of 21/05.”

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