A Dublin man who raped a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint after meeting her on the internet has been sentenced to 10 years with two suspended.
Stephen Rogers (22) met the girl in a chat room and swapped phone numbers with her before meeting her and luring her to a secluded area of a Swords park where he raped her.
Rogers, of St Cronan's Close, Swords pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, aggravated sexual assault and the production of a knife during the course of the rape on July 16, 2011 at River Valley Park, Swords.
Mr Justice Paul Carney declared Rogers a sex offender and said because he had a previous conviction of threatening a woman with a knife and his predatory nature, he "has disqualified himself from a benefit he otherwise might have enjoyed."
The girl said, in her victim impact statement that the attack had changed her life.
"I regularly wake up crying and I keep seeing his face in my head. It has taken so much out of me and my family think there's something wrong with me because all I do is cry."
The court heard the girl had suffered bullying at school and the family had moved home. The girl's father said their relationship had suffered and she had "lost her innocence."
Garda James Tracey told prosecuting counsel, Paul Carroll, that Rogers posed online as a 17-year-old named David.
The girl told him she was almost 15 and they had sexual conversations over the internet before exchanging phone numbers and agreeing to meet in Swords. The girl, who cannot be named, travelled to Swords Shopping Centre to meet Rogers.
Rogers suggested they go the nearby Ward River Valley Park, known locally as Jacko Park.
They sat down on a bench and he began making advances on her but she told him she didn't want to go any further. Rogers removed his trousers before abusing her.
Garda Tracey told the court that Rogers produced a kitchen knife, which caused the girl to panic.
He threatened her with it, saying: "Don't panic or else I'll use it on you," to which she replied, "Please don't."
He forced her to perform oral sex before taking off her clothes and raping her. When she struggled he raised a fist in a threatening manner and said: "I don't like hurting girls."
Rogers was arrested several days after the attack.