A man who raped two European women who were working as prostitutes in Ireland has been jailed for 20 years after the judge described the crimes as a “vicious and shocking”.
Ms Justice Tara Burns said that Gheorghe Goidan (46), a Romanian national, had preyed upon the vulnerability of the two women and had clearly targeted them because he thought they would not be believed.
“He clearly thought they were mere dirt to rob and steal from. They are not,” the judge said before adding that the women were “extremely impressive” and gave evidence during trial in “the most dignified manner”.
Goidan contacted the women via the escortsireland.ie website and met them separately in hotel rooms. He then pulled a knife on them and threatened them before repeatedly assaulting and raping them.
He had pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault at a hotel in Portlaoise on September 7th, 2017.
Goidan, with an address at The Plaza Apartments, Tyrellstown, Dublin, had also denied rape, oral rape and anal rape of a second woman at the Maldron Hotel in Galway city on the same day.
He has one previous conviction from the UK from 2007 in relation to possession of a false passport.
After a trial at the Central Criminal Court, a jury of six men and six women returned guilty verdicts on all counts. Goidan had previously entered guilty pleas to counts of robbing the two women.
Referring to the women’s victim impact reports, Ms Justice Burns said it was “a sad reality of their lives” that due to the “secrecy with which their occupation has to be conducted” neither woman was able to get comfort from family or friends following the rapes.
The judge said the details of the rapes “are vicious and shocking” and said these vulnerable women were put through “an awful and horrific ordeal”.
She referred to the fact that the rapes were “not part of one transaction” in that Goidan attacked one woman at 10am in a hotel in Portlaoise before driving to Galway where he raped the second woman in a hotel there at 9pm that same day.
Ms Justice Burns said the offences were “degrading” and “a personal violation”. She described them as planned and premeditated. “He followed their movements and preyed upon their vulnerability,” she commented.
She described the offences as being “at the high end of the serious range” and said that consecutive terms were appropriate before she sentenced Goidan to 10 years for each of the sexual offences against the women and seven years for each of the robberies.
The judge ordered that while the sentences relating to the first victim be concurrent to each other and the sentences relating to the second victim be concurrent to each other, the terms for the sexual offences relating to the two women were to be consecutive to each other, resulting in a jail term of 20 years.
During the trial the jury heard that both women, who had not known one another, were from the Czech Republic and had both come to Ireland to work as prostitutes. They advertised their services on the escortsireland.ie website and booked themselves into the respective hotel rooms.
The first woman met Goidan, who had booked an appointment through the website, at 11am. Goidan pulled a knife and threatened to cut the woman if she didn’t do what he asked.
Within 12 hours, Goidan made a second booking on escortsireland.ie and met up with the second victim. He pulled a knife and raped her repeatedly.
Helpless and afraid
A victim impact statement from the first woman outlined her financial loss and said that after the rape she felt helpless and afraid, and that “this will accompany me for the rest of my days”.
She said her family and loved ones don't know about her work so she could not confide in them
“When there is a man near me with his hands in his pockets I worry he has a knife,” the statement continued. She said she was worried about HIV in the aftermath of the attack and had to wait two months to get back results from tests.
She said her family and loved ones don’t know about her work so she could not confide in them.
She said the fact that Goidan had the details from her national identity card concerned her and described this as “a fear that will forever remain with me”.
The second woman said she is afraid of unknown men and also referred to the fact that she cannot talk to her family about what happened. She said as a result, her relationship with them will never be the same.
She said she had less friends because she could not talk about the rape. “I am different but I can’t say why. I can’t believe anybody, unknown people or new friends. I don’t know who wants to attack me,” she added.