herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Two teens jailed after sex attack taped on phone

TWO teenagers who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old schoolgirl in a Galway apartment, recording some of the incident on a mobile phone, have been jailed for 18 months each for the assault.

Harvey Simukonda (19), originally from Malawi but living in Athlone, pleaded guilty to the defilement, or statutory rape, of the young girl two years ago.

Jesse Edokpayi (19), from Dublin, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of the girl on the same date. Both men were 17 at the time.

Vodka

The Central Criminal Court heard how on August 1, 2012, during Race Week, the young girl and a friend had accompanied Simukonda to an apartment, where she was given vodka and was in an intoxicated state.

She was later brought to a toilet by Simukonda where they had sex twice.

The court heard that the schoolgirl's trouser buttons had been ripped off and zipper damaged.

In a second incident later that evening, the victim was brought to a bedroom where she was sexually assaulted by Edokpayi as the incident was recorded on a mobile phone.

Video footage was played to the court of the schoolgirl lying in an almost comatose state on a bedroom floor as Edokpayi attempted to coax her to have sex. He admitted to digitally penetrating the girl.

For most of her recorded ordeal the schoolgirl lay on her side with her arms wrapped around her. Three men were in the room at the time, including the two defendants.

A friend of both of the accused taped the video clips of the girl being assaulted.

In a Victim Impact Statement, she said the incident had affected her in school after other students found out and would make comments about it.

"I'm suffering from depression and feel suicidal," she said in the statement.

"I have suffered loss of self-esteem and have low self-respect. People found out in school and were making comments about me. I felt humiliated in school.

"I felt very isolated at the time."

Both defendants apologised to their victim and her family during proceedings.

Imposing three-year sentences on both men, Justice Barry White said he could not ignore the gravity of the offence.

He suspended the final 18 months of both sentences, and their names were added to the sexual offenders list.

hnews@herald.ie

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