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horror attack Teen who was drugged and raped by sister's boyfriend brands him a 'sick and evil monster'

Stephen Lynch drugged and raped 15-year-old Lena Maughan and assaulted her sister who was saved by a friend

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Rapist Stephen Lynch

Rapist Stephen Lynch

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne, victims of Stephen Lynch, speak to Sunday World reporter Patrick O'Connell

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne, victims of Stephen Lynch, speak to Sunday World reporter Patrick O'Connell

Rapist Stephen Lynch

Rapist Stephen Lynch

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne

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Rapist Stephen Lynch

A teenager who was drugged and raped by her older sister's boyfriend after she called to see their newborn baby has branded him "a sick and evil monster".

Stephen Lynch raped 15-year-old Lena Maughan before later sexually assaulting her older sister, Romany (17), when the siblings came to visit the infant several weeks apart.

The depraved beast (31) from Athlone, Co Westmeath, also tried to strangle Romany's friend Cody when he heroically intervened to protect her.

The Sunday World is publishing the first pictures of manipulative predator Lynch - as we also reveal how the rapist masqueraded as an advocate for addiction and mental health services, even posting music videos on Facebook to 'raise funds' in a bid to hide his true nature.

The sicko also set up accommodation services for homeless people in the town to further cover his tracks. But the brute's veneer of respectability was ripped away this week when Lena and Romany waived their anonymity in order that he could be named after he was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison for his crimes.

"He's a sick, evil monster," Lena told the Sunday World.

"I don't know how anyone could do that to a 15-year-old girl and then go on as if nothing happened."

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Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne, victims of Stephen Lynch, speak to Sunday World reporter Patrick O'Connell

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne, victims of Stephen Lynch, speak to Sunday World reporter Patrick O'Connell

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne, victims of Stephen Lynch, speak to Sunday World reporter Patrick O'Connell

Recalling the events leading up to Lynch raping her on October 17, 2015, Lena said she had been excited to call to the home of her older sister Naomi (Fonna) in Athlone to see her newborn nephew.

"I was in transition year," recalled Lena, who is now 21 years old.

"I was really excited to see her and the baby.

"But Fonna had to leave because her stitches had burst, and she went to the hospital to be checked out.

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"Stephen Lynch had been going out with my sister for a long time, so we trusted him - we just thought he was a nice man who was with my sister.

"And there was nothing up with him that night that would have made me think anything bad was going to happen."

During Lynch's trial, Sergeant Paul McNally revealed how the sex beast first drugged and then raped Lena once he had her alone in the house.

The court heard how, after Lena complained that she had a headache, Lynch gave her two tablets, after which she felt dizzy and like she was drunk.

Lynch then brought a mattress into the living room and told her to lie down, also giving her two further tablets.

After a few minutes he started taking off her clothes, got on top of her and raped her.

After the incident, Lena could not walk properly and her entire body was sore. She did not see Lynch until the following morning, when he told her not to tell anyone, that it was a secret and that she was to "act happy" around people.

The court heard she had never had sex prior to being raped by Lynch.

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Rapist Stephen Lynch

Rapist Stephen Lynch

Rapist Stephen Lynch

"I know it's not nice to say bad things about people, but I'd call him a monster because he destroyed my life," Lena said.

"I have to carry this with me now forever. It has really affected emotionally. He told me to keep this a secret and to act happy around my family. I was just 15 at the time.

"The next day we went to his mam's and my dad came and picked me up. I didn't say anything straight away because I couldn't.

"Then he came up to our house on Christmas Day. I hadn't seen him since, and he said to me: 'You should come back down to the house and we can do it again'.

"That's when I got really scared and it was after that I told.

"What he did to me destroyed my childhood. If I was walking along the road I'd be terrified in case someone would grab me and do it to me again. I was isolated, alone, scared and sad.

"I thought he should have gotten at least 14 or 15 years for what he did to me. He has never apologised, he has never said sorry to me, and he pleaded not guilty all the way through the trial.

"After he raped me, he went around telling people he had mental health problems and alcohol problems and started organising accommodation for homeless people. But it was all just to cover up what he actually is - I was 15 years old - he's a paedophile and a rapist."

Two months after raping Lena, who had yet to tell her family what he'd done to her, Stephen Lynch sexually assaulted her 17-year-old sister Romany and tried to strangle her friend Cody when he tried to prevent him from doing even worse.

Romany said Lynch targeted her in almost identical circumstances to Lena when she called to the house to see the baby.

She went to bed after the baby fell asleep only for Lynch to enter the bedroom where she was sleeping and begin "pulling at her legs."

Romany then called Cody in and asked him to get into the bed beside her to protect her.

Despite Cody's presence, Lynch returned. He tried to put his hand on Romany's vagina and kiss her on the lips while she was telling him to stop.

Next, after Cody intervened, Lynch put both knees on Cody's chest and started choking him. It was only after Romany threatened to call her father that he left the room.

The following morning, as with Lena, he told them it was "their little secret."

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Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne

Lena Maughan and Cody Dunne

"Before this happened, everything had just seemed normal," Romany said. "There was nothing out of the blue, nothing strange at all. And then this.

"There is something very wrong with him, you don't just attack people for no reason, but he does and it's evil."

"If Cody hadn't been there, he would have done to me what he did to Lena. I've no doubt about that."

Hero Cody said his defining memory of the night of the attack was the 'deadness' in Lynch's eyes as he strangled him.

"It was like having a two-ton truck on my chest as he knelt on top of me," he said.

"And, the whole time, he was silent. It was like he was a robot, there was no emotion.

"There was nothing in his eyes - it was like looking into the eyes of a snake, they were dead.

"You can't read someone like that - there is just no way of knowing when they're going to strike."

Mr Justice David Keane sentenced Lynch to eight years and nine months imprisonment for the rape offence and two years and nine months each for the offences of sexual assault and assault causing harm.

However, he ordered that all sentences run concurrent to each other for an effective operative sentence of eight years and nine months in prison - meaning Lynch won't spend a single extra day in prison for what he did to Romany and Cody.

"There's no justice in that for me or Cody," said Romany, "but at least he got locked up. And everyone knows what he is now."

Cody added that he feels, for the last six years, that it was he, Romany and Lena who had to hide over what happened.

"People called us liars," he said, "and we were told to withdraw the statements.

"He lied to the whole world. But we did nothing wrong.

"We were all young kids whereas he was a fully grown man who knew exactly what he was doing."

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