Teens jailed after rape captured on phone

A friend of two 17-year-old youths used his phone to record them plying a 15-year-old schoolgirl with neat vodka before one of them had sex with her and the other sexually assaulted her.

Thanks to the footage, the two, who are now 19, were yesterday sentenced to three years in prison with the final 18 months suspended at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway.

In a victim impact statement read to the court on behalf of the victim, she said she now suffers from low self-esteem, depression and suicidal tendencies and that other students in her school found out about what had happened and had made comments to her about it.

Harvey Simukonda, who is now aged 19, with an address at 62 Brawney Square, Athlone, pleaded not guilty to rape but guilty to the defilement or statutory rape of the girl in an apartment in Galway City on August 1, 2012, moments before his trial was due to begin last July.

His co-accused, Jesse Edokpayif, 19, with a former address in Galway City, but who now lives in Dublin, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of the girl during the same incident.

Five separate video clips showed the victim lying in an unconscious or semiconscious state on the floor while being sexually assaulted by Edokpayif as Simukonda sat and watched nearby.

The court heard the victim first met Simukonda during the Volvo Ocean Race festivities in Galway in 2012. They arranged to meet three weeks later on August 1, during the Galway Races.

The Junior Cert student and her 15-year-old friend went to an apartment that afternoon with the accused where they were plied with vodka.

The victim’s friend said in her statement to gardaí that while the first vodka they were given had cola in it, the second was “raw” or neat vodka. She did not take the second drink and advised the victim not to drink it but was ignored.

Later that evening the victim and her friend alerted gardaí on Shop Street about what had happened and both accused were arrested.

Simukonda admitted giving the underage victim drink but claimed he had consensual sex with her in the apartment’s bathroom.

The victim denied this and Sgt Paudie O’Shea confirmed buttons were missing from her jeans and the zipper broken.

Evidence was heard that Simukonda had had sex with the victim in the bathroom at some stage before the sexual assault took place in the bedroom.

Sgt O’Shea confirmed both accused had no previous convictions but Simukonda, who is from Malawi, had been issued with a 15-day deportation warning notice in September 2013. He said the other accused was Nigerian.

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