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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Man who raped sister-in-law when she was 15 is jailed for nine years

The woman described how she had no prior knowledge of sex the day the man raped her.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A LAOIS WOMAN whose brother-in-law has been jailed for raping her 35 years ago while she was “an innocent and naive” teenager has stated that she is a survivor and not a victim.

Reading from her victim impact statement in court, the woman described how she had no prior knowledge of sex the day the man (59) raped her.

She said she had been an “innocent and naive” 15-year-old before the rape and that she has spent the last 35 years with no confidence, no self esteem and no self worth.

Today, Justice Deirdre Murphy sentenced the man to nine years with the final three and a half years suspended for what she described as a “brutal predatory rape”.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the woman’s identity, had pleaded not (NOT) guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the then teenager at his home on a date between October 1983 and July 1984. He was convicted of the offence following a trial in May.

He had also pleaded not guilty to two further counts of sexual assault of the same woman and was acquitted of these charges.

Kerida Naidoo SC, defending, submitted to Justice Murphy that he was “not in a position to offer as mitigation a change in (his client’s) attitude”.

At the sentence hearing, the woman said she was taking back a little bit more control, self worth and self confidence.

“Most importantly I am taking back a little bit of me. Today I am no longer a victim of child sexual abuse, I am a survivor,” the woman said.

A garda told Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, that the then 15-year-old had been babysitting at the man’s home when he beckoned her into his bedroom, saying he had something to show her.

He produced pornographic magazines, showed her sexually explicit photographs and had a “leery” expression on his face when he asked her what she thought. He then pushed the teenager onto the bed and raped her.

The woman later recalled that the man had been very aggressive, that he had been grunting and his face was contorted during the incident. She was too afraid to tell anybody at the time, but a few years later went to her mother and disclosed the rape.

The garda told Walley that the mother “shut her down and dismissed her completely”. The mother expressed regret about this while giving evidence at the trial, saying “they were different times”.

The court heard the woman disclosed the rape to two of her siblings prior to 2004, to a doctor in 2013 and to a member of the man’s extended family at a charity function in 2014. After this last disclosure, the woman received a solicitor’s letter from the man threatening legal action for defamation.

She made her garda statement about the rape that day and the man was arrested later in 2014. He co-operated during interview but denied the allegations and showing pornographic material to his then teenage sister-in-law.

The garda agreed the man had been heavily involved in his community and had worked since he was 15-years-old.

Justice Murphy said she was placing the attack the the upper end of the middle range of seriousness. She noted that the offence had been identified by the woman as affecting her confidence, self esteem and self worth and that it had damaged her developing personality.

She suspended the final three and a half years of the sentence taking into account the man’s lack of previous convictions and failing health.

Comments are off to protect the anonymity of the victim.

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