FLINTSHIRE, ENGLAND, November 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 13-year old boy in England has pled guilty to rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of an eight-year old girl, and, according to reports, pornography may have played a significant part in his crimes. The actions took place when he was 10. 

The boy, who had been abused by his mother’s partner and neglected by his mother, was sentenced to three years of rehabilitation. He became addicted to pornography by the age of 10, having been allowed to watch pornography for hours at a time starting at age nine.  

The judge who sentenced him to rehabilitation told the boy he was using the girl to “play out fantasies that you had been watching on the internet, images of extreme pornography.”

The boy may also have viewed his mother and her partner engaging in sexual relations at least once, according to what the court heard. 

According to Dawn Hawkins, the Executive Director of Morality in Media, the boy’s actions are no surprise. “He’s acting out with another kid what he viewed. It’s common among adults, and even more common among children. With pornography, children are mimicking what they see adults do, and they don’t know it’s wrong. They haven’t been taught that yet.” 

Hawkins pointed to law enforcement officials who note pornography is heavily related to sexual abuse.

Earlier this year, The Telegraph reported that information obtained through a Freedom of Information showed that thousands of UK children had committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period, from 2009-2012. At the time Claire Lilley, policy adviser at The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), blamed the high number on the increase in readily available pornography.

“We know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s views of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behavior,” she said.

This summer, Great Britain engaged in a national discussion over the possibility of banning pornography at the ISP to protect children. British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would not be an outright ban – parents could request to have filters lifted, and so-called “soft porn” would be legal – but most type of pornography would automatically be filtered out.

The issue of pornography being viewed by children has long stymied parents in the age of the Internet. A study conducted in spring of this year found the first time a child is exposed to pornography, on average, is at 11 years old. The study looked at 19,000 parents and the habits of their children, and found one percent of six-year olds have viewed pornography.