Outrage as party groper pays victim €10k to stay out of prison
A FORMER nursing home care manager who sexually assaulted a young woman at a party has escaped jail on condition he pays his victim €10,000.
Gheorghe Alexandroae (37) was also ordered to carry out 240 hours' community service by Judge Desmond Hogan who noted that many people "spoke very highly" of him and that he had co-operated with the Probation Service.
Judge Hogan imposed a five-year sentence, which he suspended on condition Alexandroae pay more than €10,000 to his victim as a "token of remorse".
He also ordered him to undergo 12 months' probation supervision.
"It is the type of offence where a drunken person took advantage of another person who was feeling unwell and had also taken a certain amount of drink," the judge remarked after hearing the evidence.
"I am inclined to think it was an awfully stupid, regrettable act by the defendant which has caused consequences for the accused and the complainant."
The 27-year-old victim has since left the country.
A victim impact report read out on a previous date stated that she now suffers from depression and has trouble with intimacy.
Alexandroae, of Annabel Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was convicted after trial earlier this year of two counts of sexual assault on the woman in a Dublin house in November 2009.
The court had been told that the woman was attacked in an upstairs room during a party.
After his arrest, Alexandroae claimed the sexual contact had been consensual.
Phillipp Rahn, defending, said his client has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for six years and that he had no previous convictions.
Rape Crisis Network Ireland said the sentence sent out the wrong message.
"We are very concerned about the message this might send out – it's like you're saying you can buy your way out of jail.
"A sentence for the crime should stand and compensation for the victim should be normal," spokeswoman Cliona Saidlear told the Irish Independent.
"But it shouldn't be the case whereby you don't serve your time because you pay compensation, particularly in sexual violence cases.
"That's like giving them a get-out-of-jail free card. We are seeing more and more of these kind of cases cropping up and it's of serious concern."