NewsCrime Desk

Rapist rickshaw driver ran couch-surfing business for tourists

Rafael Tiso
Rafael Tiso

A RICKSHAW driver who raped a woman with such savagery that she will never be able to have children was running a ‘couch-surfing’ business for tourists.

Rafael Tiso (31), from Brazil, was jailed for 13 years this week after the Central Criminal Court heard harrowing evidence about the physical injuries suffered by the young woman.

The court was told how the victim was left for dead and covered in blood and that she suffered injuries that required surgery.

Doctors have also told her that she will not be able to give birth naturally in the future as a result of her injures and will likely experience difficulties at menopause.

The Sunday World can reveal that, just months before the rape, sex beast Tiso had been renting out a spare bed in his apartment to tourists visiting Dublin – who would have been totally unaware of his sick sex urges.

This image shows the ad Tiso had placed on a popular couchsurfing website which pairs tourists with hosts who offer them a bed.

At the same time he placed the ad online, Tiso also conducted an interview with another Brazilian website promoting English language schools in Dublin.

He told other Brazilians that: “The tip I give is, believe in yourself, keep focus.

“It will not be easy, you will get cold, it will take rain but the experience will be forever.

“In the end you will look back and will laugh. Back to Brazil with fluent English…you had so much love and lived the best year of your life; because this baggage you bring true friendships, life experience, clear English and still many stamps in the passport.

 “Live your dream or die dreaming.” 

This week, the court heard Tiso (31) was captured on CCTV leaving a nightclub with the intoxicated victim and walking with her down a side street before going into a lane with her.

He left the lane 40 minutes later and returned to party in the same bar for over an hour.

A passer-by heard a moaning noise and discovered the woman lying on the ground between a truck and a car with her legs spread apart.

The man believed the woman was dead at first as her eyes were closed and he did not want to touch her to contaminate the scene.

He saw blood on the ground beside her. The woman’s clothing and hair were soaking wet. Gardai were alerted and the woman taken to hospital.

Medical staff were concerned that she may have been sexually assaulted. She had no memory of the events, only recalling being in the nightclub and later seeing a flashlight in her face when she was found.

The 23-year-old victim, who cannot recall anything of the incident, suffered a deep tear to her rectum.

Tiso, who was living in rented accommodation at Offaly Road, Cabra, Dublin, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, oral rape, aggravated sexual assault and assault causing harm to the woman at Montague Lane, Dublin, on January 18, 2016.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said that this was a violent and callous crime perpetrated on a vulnerable, inebriated young woman.

She suspended the final year of a 14-year sentence on condition that Tiso leave the State on his release for a period of ten years.

Tiso, who was working as a rickshaw driver in the Harcourt Street area of Dublin, was nominated as a suspect and interviewed. He claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.

Tiso told gardai in his final interview that he really regretted taking advantage of her.

Ms Justice Kennedy noted that his expression of remorse was motivated to a degree by remorse for how these events were impacting on his own life.

Ms Justice Kennedy said the physical damage caused to the victim was appalling.

She had been advised that she should not give birth naturally in the future as a result and she may also suffer complications at menopause.

In her victim impact report, the woman said “something terrible happened to me” and described it like being “an episode of a horror series”. She said she sometimes felt as if she is in a nightmare and tried not to think about what happened.

She said she would like to “delete that day” and described “a daily fight between going forward or making a martyr of myself”.