A young Romanian man has received a two year suspended sentence for attempting to defile a 16-year-old girl.
Mr Justice Paul Butler told the Central Criminal Court that a big factor in suspending the sentence was that Gabriel Prunariu (24) is now on the Sex Offenders Register, which will affect his future.
The judge noted that there was also no violence in the crime, which carries a maximum five year sentence, and that Prunariu has no previous convictions for violent offending.
Prunariu, with an address at North Circular Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty to attempted defilement of a child at his home on February 6th 2016. He has one previous minor conviction for burglary for which he received a small fine.
Garda Eoin Treacy told Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, that the girl went into Dublin city centre to meet up with a group of young people and during the evening she encountered Prunariu.
The teenager missed her bus home and ended up going back to Prunariu’s home with another youth. All three were in a bunk bed in the dark in Prunariu’s room, when the defendant initiated sexual contact.
The girl later told gardaí that Prunariu began touching her, kissing her neck and pulling at her leggings.
She said this culminated in him trying to put his penis into her anus as she pretended to be asleep. The girl said Prunariu then stopped and went to the bathroom.
Gda Treacy said a taxi driver brought the girl home the following day when she felt unwell while she was standing outside Prunariu’s home.
Gda Treacy said he identified Prunariu from CCTV in the city centre after the investigation began.
The garda agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that his client was not “known as a menace around town” and that he co-operated fully with the investigation.
He further agreed that Prunariu had not produced alcohol or drugs while at his home with the girl. He agreed the defendant’s actions had been a source of shame for his hardworking and decent family.
In her victim impact statement, which was read out by Mr Orange, the girl described having flashbacks, missing school from not sleeping well and having bad memories of the night.
She said she lied to people about feeling fine but “inside I’m screaming because knowing what happened to me is hard to get over”. She added that Prunariu knew her age at the time.
The girl thanked her mother and Gda Treacy for his help in the case.
Mr Bowman said his client wished to apologise to the girl for his actions. Counsel submitted to Mr Justice Butler that Prunariu was now “stigmatised for life” with a conviction for sexual offending. Counsel said this would compromise his client’s capacity to find employment and he asked the judge to impose a non-custodial sentence.