Ten years for babysitter, 20, that sexually abused young children

A 20-year-old man has today been sentenced to ten years imprisonment with an extended licence of five years in relation to historic child sex abuse offences.

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Michael Ponzo, of Stratton, appeared at Swindon Crown Court today after pleading guilty to 40 counts of child sex abuse, which all took place between 2013 and 2015.

Detective Constable Rob Sweeney said: “Despite knowing how young and vulnerable the children were, Ponzo abused his position of trust as a babysitter and sexually assaulted the children over a period of time.

“He only admitted to his despicable crimes when one of his young victims found the strength and courage to confide in a family member. An investigation by Wiltshire Police officers was then conducted which has led to today’s outcome.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those victims who have come forward and spoken to police – their brave actions have helped put this predator behind bars. Although the consequences of Ponzo’s actions will no doubt be long-lasting for his victims and their families, I hope that today’s outcome will enable them to move on and rebuild their lives.

“We would like to reassure the public that we take all allegations of child sex abuse seriously and would always encourage any victims to come forward and contact police immediately. Victims can also seek support and counselling from the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based at the New Swindon Sanctuary.

“Wiltshire Police has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in relation to this case, following concerns regarding the actions of Wiltshire Police in an investigation into the possession of indecent images of children.”