Saturday 21 September 2019

Schoolgirl videoed during sexual assault

Caroline Crawford

TWO teenagers who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old schoolgirl in a Galway apartment, recording some of the incident on a mobile phone, have been jailed for 18 months each for the assault.

Harvey Simukonda (19), originally from Malawi but living in Athlone, pleaded guilty to the defilement, or statutory rape, of the young girl two years ago.

Jesse Edokpayi (19), from Dublin, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of the girl on the same date. Both men were 17 at the time.

The Central Criminal Court heard how on August 1, 2012, during Race Week, the young girl and a friend had accompanied Simukonda to an apartment, where she was given vodka and was in an intoxicated state.

She was later brought to a toilet by Simukonda where they had sex twice. The court heard that the schoolgirl's trouser buttons had been ripped off and zipper damaged.

In a second incident later that evening, the victim was brought to a bedroom where she was sexually assaulted by Edokpayi as the incident was recorded on a mobile phone.

Jesse Edokpayi at Galway Circuit Court. Photo: Andrew Downes
Jesse Edokpayi at Galway Circuit Court. Photo: Andrew Downes
Harvey Simukonda at Galway Circuit Court yesterday. Photo: Andrew Downes

Video footage was played to the court of the schoolgirl lying in an almost comatose state on a bedroom floor as Edokpayi attempted to coax her to have sex. He admitted to digitally penetrating the girl.

For most of her recorded ordeal the schoolgirl lay on her side with her arms wrapped around her. Three men were in the room at the time, including the two defendants.

In a Victim Impact Statement, she said the incident had affected her in school after other students found out and would make comments about it.

Both defendants apologised to their victim and her family during proceedings.

Imposing three-year sentences on both men, Justice Barry White said he could not ignore the gravity of the offence. He suspended the final 18 months of both sentences, and their names were added to the sexual offenders list.

Irish Independent

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