Man who raped his friend jailed for six yearsDublin People 12 Feb 2024
By Eimear Dodd
A man who raped a friend in a “breach of trust” after a birthday party has been jailed for six years.
The 39-year-old man, who can’t be identified to protect the anonymity of the victim, pleaded guilty to one count of rape on the night of June 6 and June 7, 2022.
Imposing sentence today, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon said the man had taken advantage of the victim while she was vulnerable and sleeping.
She also noted the “breach of trust” that had occurred in the context of their friendship.
Referring to the victim impact statement, Ms Justice Creedon noted that the incident has had a “profound negative impact” on the victim.
She said the victim had faced “stigma” and “blame” from her community and was left feeling alone “far from home”.
The judge said while the probation report stated that the man didn’t accept responsibility, a full apology was made in court and he has accepted the victim could not give consent.
She also noted that the defendant is assessed at low risk of re-offending and has no previous convictions.
Setting a headline sentence of nine years, the judge said the man’s guilty plea was of “significant” value as mitigation and as an “acknowledgement of the harm caused” to the victim.
The judge imposed a prison sentence of seven years with the final 12 months suspended on strict conditions.
The victim (then aged 26) arrived in Ireland seeking international protection and was staying in an accommodation centre in the Leinster region, where the defendant also resided.
On the night in question, there was a birthday party for a mutual acquaintance during which the victim became intoxicated.
She woke up in a different bedroom in bed with the man, then noticed semen and other evidence of sexual activity.
Other witnesses gave evidence that the victim was intoxicated and was put to bed by friends.
The man told them he was her friend and wished to look after her.
The next morning, the man was seen in the same bed as the woman by others.
He admitted having sex with her and that she had not consented.
He was arrested and maintained there was consensual sexual contact when interviewed.
Ms Justice Creedon backdated the sentence to June 10, 2022 when the man went into custody.