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Binge drink warning after rape of girl (15)

BINGE drinking is leaving young people increasingly vulnerable to sexual violence, the Rape Crisis Network has warned after a teenager was jailed for raping a 15-year-old girl.

The setting for a case that appeared before Central Criminal Court yesterday has been described as a "drink and drug-fuelled party".

Fiona Neary, director of the Rape Crisis Network, said there was "was clear evidence that Ireland's binge drinking culture leaves teenagers vulnerable to sexual violence".



Ordinary

She was speaking after a boy (16) was sentenced to six years detention with the final three years suspended.

The boy, who can not be identified for legal reasons, was described in court as "an ordinary young fellow" who had never been on the garda radar.

He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the girl in a bedroom on March 5, 2011. He has no previous convictions and was also 15 at the time of the rape.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Paul Carney noted that both parties were very drunk at the house, with the accused claiming huge alcohol consumption as well as taking hash

Garda Adrian O'Sullivan told the court that the girl and boy had attended a teenage house party. The group had put in €5 each to buy alcohol and about 20 people aged approximately between 15 and 19 were present.

During the evening, the young woman drank four bottles of Budweiser and was becoming noticeably drunk. She went upstairs to a bedroom at about 2am to go asleep.

The girl said the accused came into the room shortly afterwards and pulled down her trousers. She said she told him to stop and he replied her: "This is what you want."

The girl said she was crying and calling her friends but the music in the house was very loud.

The boy had sex with her despite her telling him to get away. She was in pain and did not know how long it lasted. Afterwards the boy pulled up his trousers and left.

The girl described how she had been in shock for weeks afterwards.



Memory

After the ruling, Ms Neary said: "For just €5 each the teenagers at this party could get drunk and high. The vast majority of rape cases in Ireland involved a victim and a perpetrator who have consumed alcohol."

She noted a Rape and Justice in Ireland study which found that in 10pc of rape cases, the complainant was completely incapacitated by alcohol.

She said that such incapacity was often the reason someone was targeted for sexual violence, "not only because they are considered easier to rape, but because they may have poor memory of the details of the crime".

Read Terry Prone, P16


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