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Two Donegal residents who raped woman jailed for nine years

The woman told the court it was difficult to narrow down into words the effect this has had on her.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie

TWO DONEGAL RESIDENTS who raped a “blind drunk” student after bringing her back to their flat have been jailed for nine years.

Ghanaian nationals Boakye Osei (30) of Tooban, Burnfoot and Kelvin Opoku (33) of Cill Graine, Letterkenny had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the rape of the woman in a town in the county in February 2015.

The woman had been out with her friend in a nightclub and the two women were walking home when they met Opoku and Osei. She got into the car believing the men had offered to take her to her home.

The woman told the trial that on a scale of one to ten in terms of drunkenness, she was a ten and about to pass out. A video clip shown during the trial showed the woman staggering around the apartment and later falling on the bathroom floor, exposing her underwear, before the two men hold her up.

They took her into the bedroom where Opoku and then Osei raped her. The woman testified that she was “blind drunk” and could not and did not consent to any sexual activity.

In interview with gardaí, Opoku claimed that the woman had not been too drunk to consent and said she had been an enthusiastic participant. Osei denied having any sexual activity with the woman.

Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Alex Owens said he accepted that neither man set out to rape the woman. However they were fully aware of her incapacitation due to her intoxication and were prepared to take advantage of it, he said.

Justice Owens said that Osei continues to insist that he didn’t have sex with the woman, despite forensic evidence. He said Osei claims the woman and her friend must have “fitted him up” by putting the woman’s DNA on his condom and that he “is the victim in all of this”.

He said that a probation report states that Opoku’s empathy and insight is somewhat limited. He said that if Opoku has managed to convince himself of his innocence and lack of culpability, he has not convinced anyone else.

Justice Owens sentenced both men to nine years imprisonment. He recommended that Opoku be deported following the completion of his sentence.

He said that Osei is an Irish citizen and if his status is withdrawn “he will be the author of his own misfortune”.

He ordered that both men undergo four years post release supervision during which they must follow all directions of the Probation Service. He said that failure to comply with this order was a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of imprisonment of 12 months.

The woman, who is now in her 20s, told the court that it was difficult to narrow down into words the effect this has had on her.

In her victim impact statement, which she read out before the court, the woman said the experience of being stripped of her clothes in the sexual assault treatment unit to be examined internally and externally was “challenging and humiliating”.

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Brion Hoban

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