Man convicted of sexually assaulting woman who was seeking asylum here

Man convicted of sexually assaulting woman who was seeking asylum here

Sonya McLean

A man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman who had come to Ireland seeking asylum.

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape, one of sexual assault and one of attempted rape of the woman in his Dublin home on various occasions over the weekend of December 1st to December 3rd, 2017.

The jury told Mr Justice Alex Owens, following eight and half hours deliberation on day-10 of the trial at the Central Criminal Court, that they could reach a majority verdict on one count, but they were deadlocked in relation to the other four counts.

Mr Justice Owens remanded the man in custody and revoked his bail before he adjourned sentencing to July 12th, 2021.

The judge ordered a victim impact statement and a report from the Probation Service to address post release supervision before he certified the man as a sex offender.

Rape inside marriage

The trial heard that after his arrest the man told gardai that he had never heard that a husband and a wife can have a rape allegation between them. He said to him rape cases involve someone getting kidnapped and then raped.

A witness from a mosque in Dublin said that after the complainant told her what had happened she confronted the defendant and asked him “why did you rape her?”

She said the defendant said he didn't and that “you cannot rape inside marriage”. She said she told the man “you are in a different country now and there are different laws here” and told him that you can rape within marriage.

That same witness told the court that the complainant told her she and the accused had some form of a ceremony performed in a mosque and the complainant asked her advice as to if this meant they were now married.

Affidavit

The witness said she advised the woman to get an affidavit from the accused proving that it was a legally binding marriage.

She said she did this for the complainant’s own “self-preservation for her family back home”.

“If she was seen to have had any sexual intercourse outside of marriage it could be disastrous for her, potentially very dangerous and life threatening,” the witness told the jury.

She confirmed that “sexual intercourse outside of marriage is forbidden in Islamic culture”.

The trial heard that during a visit to Ireland in November 2017, the 36-year-old woman sought asylum in Ireland to avoid an arranged marriage in her native country.

The complainant testified that after a ceremony took place between her and the accused, the man took her back to his flat and raped her a number of times over the course of three days.

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