Daniel Heaphy, aged 23, of Kilmore Road, Knocknaheeny, Cork City, was found guilty after a trial at the Central Criminal Court of raping the woman on May 19, 2011. He had denied the charge.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Barry White imposed a seven and a half year sentence.
He suspended the last 18 months and backdated the sentence to February, when Heaphy went into custody.
In her victim impact report, the woman said that she pulls tufts of her hair out and tears her own skin in anger at the memory of the attack, which took place while her young children were sleeping.
She said the rape has robbed her of the ability to stay safe in her own home. She added that the trial caused her to become suicidal and suffer panic attacks.
The court heard that there had been a tense atmosphere between supporters of the victim and those who stood by Heaphy.
The woman and her family have since moved out of Cork.
Garda Sergeant Pat Lyons told Alice Fawsitt, prosecuting, that Heaphy has 90 previous convictions, including burglary, robbery, car theft and possession of knives.
He has no previous convictions for sexual offences.
Mr Justice White said that Heaphy had taken advantage of a sleeping woman in a “mean, petty, and deceitful manner”.
The woman had been socialising and drinking earlier in her home and went to bed. She later awoke to find Heaphy on top of her having penetrative sex with her.
Heaphy told gardaí that he was invited into the bedroom by the woman but she denied this under cross-examination by Paul Greene, defending.
She said my body “absolutely froze” when she awoke fully and saw Heaphy on her.
Mr Greene said his client was a product of his environment who comes from a chaotic family background with a criminal nature.
Sergeant Lyons agreed with counsel that Heaphy would have been at a disadvantage from an early age.