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'intoxicated' Polish man who admitted raping woman at birthday party while visiting Ireland sentenced

The woman told gardaí she had been asleep after going back to the house where her attacker was staying and woke to find him having sex with her


Central Criminal Court in Dublin

Central Criminal Court in Dublin

Central Criminal Court in Dublin

A Polish man who admitted raping a woman while visiting Ireland for a birthday party has been jailed for four years.

Rafal Stojanowski (36) formerly with an address at Fairview Crescent, Killygowan, Monaghan pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman on the basis that he was reckless at a house he was staying in on October 27, 2018.

The married father of two has no previous convictions and has remained in Ireland since the offence, with some time spent in custody, to deal with the case.

The law defines a man having committed rape if he either knows that a woman does not consent to intercourse or if he is reckless as to whether she does or does not consent to it.

Stojanowski’s lawyers told the court that all parties were intoxicated, that the man was not aggressive or threatening and accepts he was reckless as to whether the woman was consenting.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott noted how the victim’s life has been disrupted and she suffered trauma due to the offence. He took into account the basis on which the plea had been entered and the manner in which the offence was committed.

He noted in mitigation factors including the man’s guilty plea, that he had expressed remorse, had no prior convictions and that he had been assessed as at low risk of reoffending.

Mr Justice McDermott imposed a four year sentence which he backdated 12 months to reflect time spent in custody.

The prosecuting garda told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that Stojanowski had come to Ireland to celebrate his friends birthday and had met the woman and her friend after a night socialising.

They returned to the house where he was staying and continued socialising. She was directed to a bedroom where she could sleep and her recollection was her friend was in the bed with her.

She later woke to find herself on her stomach with a man having sex with her. She said “no” and tried to push the man away while pulling up her underwear. She said he was not aggressive but did not stop. He ejaculated and left the room.

Her friend came into the room, she told her what happened and they left.

Stojanowski was arrested and admitted having sex with the woman. He asserted that she consented and said she was intoxicated.

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The woman, who is entitled to anonymity under the law and wishes to maintain that anonymity, outlined to the court how the offences effected her physically, mentally and financially.

She said her life has been on hold and she cannot remember who she was before this happened.

She said she takes medication to falls asleep now as she finds it difficult to fall asleep naturally and feels there is a direct link to the offence. She is triggered by content she reads or sees on the television.

She has gone for therapy but has no doubt the events will stay with her for the rest of her life.

The garda agreed with Fiona Murphy SC, defending, that all parties had been drinking on the night in question. The garda agreed there was no threat or violence aside from the offence.

The garda agreed the man remained in Ireland apart from four trips home and has not come to any further garda attention. She agreed the guilty plea was of considerable assistance and the woman was relieved she did not have to come to court.

Ms Murphy said the man had continued to support his family by working in Ireland when he was not in custody and wishes to return home to Poland as soon as possible.

She said there was significant amount of alcohol taken by all parties and her client accepts he was reckless. She said there had been some interaction between them and he understood her to be cuddling but he fully accepts her account.

Counsel submitted a probation report outlined genuine remorse and concern and understanding of the impact on the victim. He has been assessed as at low risk of reoffending.

Ms Murphy handed in a number of letters of reference, said the offence was totally out of character and asked the court for leniency.

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