Man to be sentenced later for assaulting women on Dublin buses

Man to be sentenced later for assaulting women on Dublin buses

A Polish man who sexually assaulted four different women on various Dublin buses has had his sentence adjourned because he has a prosecution pending for a similar matter.

Piotr Rownicki (aged 34) of Seagrove Close, Finglas pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five charges of sexual assault on dates between January 2009 and May 3, 2011. He assaulted one girl twice on two different buses.

The court heard that Rownicki had no previous convictions at the time. He came to Ireland in October 2006.

His defence counsel Luigi Rea BL said Rownicki had a relationship in Poland that later broke down and which he took very badly. He has since married and his wife gave birth to their first baby two weeks ago.

Mr Rea told Judge Martin Nolan that there was a similar case pending before the court and his client would prefer that all matters were dealt with at the same time.

Judge Nolan remanded Rownicki on continuing bail until next May when it is hoped that this new case will be ready to be sentenced too.

Garda Joanne McCormack told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Rownicki was arrested in May 2011 after he sat down on the No. 37 bus beside one girl he had sexually assaulted the previous spring.

He assaulted her again in the same manner by masturbating, while covering his knees with his jacket, and touching the inside of her thigh.

The girl immediately recognised Rownicki. She was in “complete shock” when he started to touch her but managed to eventually stand up. Rownicki jumped up and got off at the next stop.

The victim alerted the gardaí and Rownicki was arrested a short time later after CCTV footage was obtained from the bus.

Gda McCormack said Rownicki assaulted the three other woman in exactly the same manner.

On each occasion Rownicki sat down beside his victim when there were other empty seats available on the bus, put the jacket over his knees, masturbated and touched the women’s leg.

Each victim reported that Rownicki sat very close to them and they found it difficult to get out of their seat because he had them squashed in. They each told gardaí they were in shock and frightened by the incidents.

On one occasion a male passenger sitting behind one of the women noticed what was going on. He asked Rownicki what he was doing before he said “I know what you are up to. Leave her alone.”

The passenger confronted Rownicki who immediately jumped up and got off at the next stop.

Gda McCormack said when Rownicki was interviewed in May 2011 he initially denied any wrongdoing but then claimed he touched the girls accidentally.

He later accepted he had touched them out of amusement and said he was thinking of his ex-girlfriend at the time.

Four victim impact reports were handed into the court but were not read out.

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