Wednesday 22 November 2017

Man admits to attempted rape of 18-year-old in a Dublin football field

Sonya McLean

A LITHUANIAN man has admitted the attempted rape of an 18-year-old Dublin woman in a football field over six years ago.

Arunas Cervinskas (32) waited until the first day of his trial before a Central Criminal Court jury to enter a guilty plea. This was preceded by five days of legal argument in the absence of the jury panel.

He had initially denied a charge of attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault but following the opening address by prosecuting counsel, he asked to be re-arraigned and then through an interpreter, changed his plea to guilty in relation to the attempted rape.

Luan O Braonain SC, prosecuting told Justice George Birmingham that this plea was acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecution on the basis that full facts will be heard at the sentence hearing.

Cervinskas of Shanliss Avenue, Santry, had pleaded not guilty to attempted rape and sexual assault in circumstances of serious violence or were he caused injuries of a grave nature to the woman on May 18, 2006 in a Dublin suburb.

The court heard that she was taking a shortcut home at night through a football field when Cervinskas ambushed and violently assaulted her. He then tried to rape her but she fought him off. The girl then blacked out and awoke to find Cervinskas had fled.

She had met him earlier in the evening and had given him her phone number in exchange for a cigarette. Cervinskas then phoned the number to make sure it was genuine and it registered as a missed call on the victim’s phone.

Gardaí later discovered Cervinskas number was an unregistered prepaid phone but through analysis of the phone traffic coming from the number, he was nominated as a suspect and arrested on the first anniversary of the attack.

He continually denied the charges, even though the victim subsequently pointed him out in an identification parade, until he pleaded guilty today.

Mr Justice George Birmingham discharged the jury of three women and nine men after thanking them for their service and accepted that they had been significantly inconvenienced having initially being called into jury service last Monday, December 3rd.

He exempted them from jury duty for 10 years and wished each of the jurors a happy Christmas.

Mr Justice Birmingham registered Cervinskas a sex offender, ordered a victim impact report and remanded him in continuing custody until his sentence hearing next January.

During the legal argument Diarmaid McGuinness SC, defending, had challenged the lawfulness of his client’s detention at the garda station and argued that the evidence which followed that was therefore inadmissible.

He also challenged the admissibility of the phone evidence.

Mr Justice Birmingham this today ruled that the man had been properly treated at all times by the gardaí.

He said all the disputed evidence was admissible; including the phone analysis and allowed Mr Ó Braonáin to open the case to the jury.

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