Wednesday 21 March 2018

Man (22) sentenced to seven years for raping teenage girl

Man ordered to stay away from victim, who was the sister of the man's then partner

The Courts of Criminal Justice Dublin
The Courts of Criminal Justice Dublin

By Declan Brennan

A Waterford man who admits raping a teenage girl at a house party has been sentenced to seven years with four suspended.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the 22-year-old accepts his “legal and moral responsibility” and is disgusted by his actions.

He pleaded guilty to rape of the 15-year-old girl at a house in County Waterford in March 2012. 

Mr Justice Paul Carney suspended the last four years of a seven year term on condition that the man stay away from the victim.

He backdated the sentence to March 11, 2014 and ordered the man to undergo 18 months post release supervision.

The court heard that the victim, who was the sister of the man's then partner, had gone to his flat for a party and the accused was very drunk.

After a row with his girlfriend, the man pulled out a mattress to sleep on in the living room. He, another male and the victim were lying on the mattress under a duvet.

The victim told gardai: “I was on the side. We were all lying under the duvet. We were laughing and talking. I felt a little drunk”.

She said she fell asleep with her clothes on and woke up later to find the man lying over her and touching her breast. She realised her underwear was down and the man was raping her.

She began crying and later said she was in total shock. She said that she could see another man, who had been lying on a coach in the living room, looking down at her but she doesn't know if he saw that she was crying.

The incident lasted for about five minutes and afterwards the man turned around and fell asleep. The victim pulled her underwear and trousers back on, left the house and started to walk home.

She told a friend on Facebook what had happened and the next day she went to gardai with her mother.

When gardai presented DNA evidence to the accused, he told them: “Anything that did happen after I fell asleep I am not aware of”.

Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, said: “He cannot remember these events. He fully accepts his legal and moral responsibility. What he did was of course his fault. The recklessness lies in having taken too much drink. He has said he is disgusted with what he did”.

She said his mother and his current partner, who is pregnant, are supportive of him and that he has been attending Alcohol Anonymous meetings in custody.

Garda Patricia Lanigan told Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, that the victim has become a recluse and bursts into tears in public places.

In her victim impact report read the girl said that she had never had sex with anyone before this incident and that the accused had torn something away from her.

Before passing sentence Mr Justice Carney said that he was taking all of the mitigation presented by the defence into account “on the basis of what’s come down from the Court of Criminal Appeal”.

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