Carer convicted of sexual abuse of man with learning disability

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A carer has been convicted of sexually assaulting a man with learning disabilities after offering him a lift home from a disco.

David Vanecke, aged 45, abused the man in his car after offering him a lift home from the event he helped to organise in Northampton in March 2019.

Despite Vanecke asking the victim not to disclose what he had done, the man bravely told his care worker and the assault was reported to Northamptonshire Police, leading to Vanecke being charged with sexual assault and sexual activity with a mentally disordered male.

Vanecke denied the offences but following a trial at Northampton Magistrates’ Court last month he was convicted by a district judge.

Investigating officer Detective Constable James Harvey, of Northampton CID, said: “At the time of his offending, David Vanecke was a registered carer, working with vulnerable adults with learning disabilities.

“He used the position of trust this role gave him to gain access to his victim, persuading him to accept a lift home then forcibly touching him against his will before telling him not to tell anyone about what had happened.

“This was not only a repulsive sexual assault, it was an abuse of the trust placed in Vanecke as a carer, and I am so glad that he has now been convicted and will never again be in a position of power where he can exploit the vulnerability of others for his own ends.

“Northamptonshire Police takes all reports of sexual assault very seriously and I urge anyone who has suffered such abuse to come forward and report it – we will investigate it, we will support you, and we will seek justice for you.”

Vanecke, of Swinburne Road, Wellingborough, is due to appear back in court for sentencing on November 8 and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register.