‘I’m the walking dead,’ teenage victim tells rapist in court

Man to be sentenced next month for raping girl at Dublin apartment when she was 15

The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of one count of rape and one count of sexually assaulting the girl at a Dublin apartment on August 21st, 2017. Photograph: Collins Courts.

The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of one count of rape and one count of sexually assaulting the girl at a Dublin apartment on August 21st, 2017. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A teenage girl who was raped and sexually assaulted by a man who invited her into an apartment in the middle of the night has told a court that he “killed” her that night.

“He changed my life,” the now 19-year-old woman told the court. “He ruined me. He made me into something I never thought I would be.

“You killed me,” she continued. “I haven’t been alive since that night. I’m the walking dead.”

The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of one count of rape and one count of sexually assaulting the girl at a Dublin apartment on August 21st, 2017. She was 15 years old at the time.

He was acquitted of one count of falsely imprisoning the girl following a trial last September.

A local detective garda told the sentence hearing on Monday that on the night in question, the girl sneaked out of her house following an argument with her family over her drinking alcohol earlier that week.

She and a male friend went into the local town before parting ways. The girl was standing in the street at about 4am “cold and afraid to go home”, the court heard. A couple of taxi drivers approached her and asked if they could help her, but she declined.

The man then approached her and asked her to come back to his apartment. He promised her he would not go near her. The girl eventually agreed and went back to the apartment, which the man was staying in temporarily.

She fell asleep in his bed fully clothed before waking to find him on top of her. He put his hand over her mouth when she screamed before raping her.

The girl eventually left the apartment when the man was taking a shower, the court heard. She confided in her older brothers later that day and they went to the apartment and assaulted the man.

‘Ruined and broken’

No “responsible adult” was aware of what had happened to the teenager until she confided in a school teacher a few months later, the court heard. Gardaí­ were then alerted, the man was interviewed and the apartment he had been staying in was searched.

The girl was a virgin and had bled on the mattress.

Gardaí­ took samples of blood on the mattress, which was found to match the girl’s DNA. The man admitted the girl had stayed with him that night, but denied any sexual activity took place. He claimed the blood on the mattress was menstrual blood.

Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, said the offence was one that falls in the more serious category of offending of this nature, meriting a jail term of 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The court heard the man has one previous conviction for serious drug dealing. He is originally from Albania but has been living in Ireland for a number of years. He has been in custody since he was found guilty.

When reading out her victim impact statement in court, the complainant asked that the detective be allowed to stand beside her, between her and the man in the dock.

She said she lost motivation after the attack and couldn’t bring herself to care about herself or others. “I find it hard to trust any man because of you, a complete stranger,” she said.

She said she feels like she has lost any chance of happiness in life. “Here I am, four years later, ruined and broken,” she said. “I’ll never get those years back again.”

Dominic McGinn SC, defending, said his client does not agree with the guilty verdicts of the jury. He handed up a number of testimonials from family members and a probation report which found the man is at a low risk of reoffending.

The man has worked previously as a chef and was a “positive member of society” in the past, he said.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned the matter to December 8th for sentence.