Migrant Who Thought It Was ‘OK Under Irish Law’ to Rape Step-Daughter Is Jailed

A picture taken on September 19, 2017 at Rennes' courthouse shows a statue of the goddess of Justice balancing the scales. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

A foreign national living in Ireland who thought it was “OK under Irish law” to rape his step-daughter has been jailed for 12 years.

The 42-year-old non-native English speaker, whose identity has not been disclosed, was found guilty of 17 sexual crimes against his step-child last month, and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment on Monday.

The crimes were committed against the child when she was between the ages of 11 and 15 years old, occurring in the family home whilst her mother was out working.

The Irish Independent reported at the time of the paedophile’s conviction that the assaults began with oral rape in 2011, graduating onto rape “on a highly regular basis,” a local garda (police) told prosecutor Vincent Heneghan SC.

The abuse only stopped in 2017 when the girl told her family what had happened to her and made a complaint to the gardaí.

Her abuser had initially claimed that he thought it was “okay under Irish law” to rape the child, but later accepted that it is not.

In January 2018, the 42-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of defilement of a child under the age of 17 between March and June 2017.

But at the subsequent trial, he denied one count of oral rape, three counts of defiling the same girl between 2011 and 2017, 12 counts of rape, and one count of sexually exploiting the girl when he invited her to have sex with him for €200 (£173/$225).

However, a jury at the Central Criminal Court returned guilty verdicts on all charges. Damien Colgan SC, defending, said that his client did not accept those verdicts, adding that the migrant had no previous convictions and had a good work history.

According to the Irish Times, Mr Justice White took into account when sentencing the severity of the case, which he said was a “serious violation of a child.”

He also said he took into account that the rapist was an Irish citizen of foreign extraction with little English making prison more ‘difficult’ as a result.

Disturbed by the “intolerable” abuse which was happening “as a matter of rote,” he imposed concurrent sentences of just 12 years.

In a victim impact statement, the rape survivor said she suffers from stress, low self esteem, is unable to sleep, and her schooling has suffered.

She told the court that when she heard the guilty verdicts she broke down, saying, “I sometimes feel as if I am at the bottom of the ocean… with no light at all.”

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