Albanian found guilty of rape

An Albanian man has been convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of raping a Dublin woman who had just started a relationship with his friend.

An Albanian man has been convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of raping a Dublin woman who had just started a relationship with his friend.

Astrit Berisha, aged 38, Summerhill Parade, Dublin 1, formerly of Kosovo, was also found not guilty of falsely imprisoning the woman on the same occasion.

He was remanded in custody by Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill for mention on March 25 to fix a date for sentencing.

The jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on one charge each of aggravated sexual assault, rape, oral rape and sexual assault on the woman on August 28 and 29, 2000 and not guilty on one charge of false imprisonment.

The jury of nine men and three women returned their verdicts after two and a half hours deliberations on day seven of the trial. Berisha had denied all the charges.

The victim told the jury that Berisha and his friend had pretended to be Italians when she met them. Berisha gave his name as "Georgio" and the second man as "Alberto".

The 27-year-old woman said she met "Alberto" in a nightclub and he went home with her afterwards.

They did not have sexual intercourse that night but exchanged telephone numbers.

She met "Alberto" several times over the next two weeks and stayed in his city centre flat a few times. They developed a sexual relationship.

She went to meet him one Saturday night with one of her friends and found "Alberto" was accompanied by Berisha. She said "Alberto" was "in a bad mood" so she left the club.

She met him again soon afterwards, in the company of Berisha, and they made up. He rang her the following night and asked her to come over to his flat.

The woman had said she had thought "Alberto" was alone but when she entered the flat Berisha was there, drinking and playing cards.

She thought he would soon leave but he stayed drinking with "Alberto". At one point, Berisha told her he wanted an attractive woman "like her".

It was suggested they go to Berisha's flat which was two doors down the street and watch a video.

She thought she would go and then return with "Alberto" to his flat but when the video was over they started playing music and dancing. The two men were also pretending they were gay and making sexual references while dancing.

She was sitting in a chair but they kept urging her to dance so she decided she would dance for a while and then leave. However Berisha then said they should all go to bed and the two men went into the bedroom.

She followed them in because she was trying to persuade "Alberto" to leave and she was afraid to go outside on her own at that time of night in the city centre. She was beginning to feel wary at this time and "stupid" for being in the flat with the men.

The woman had said she went into the bathroom and when she came out the men had removed some of their clothing. They told her to sit on the bed beside them and "Alberto" said "Look at her breasts Georgio".

They told her to take off her top but she refused. "Alberto" tried to pull it up saying "no sex, don't worry" but she put her hands down and told him to stop. They both grabbed her then and pulled off the top. They then pinned her arms behind her and began roughly feeling her breasts, scratching and biting them.

She managed to get off the bed but Berisha grabbed her and threw her back in the middle of the bed, telling her "you are going to have sex now". He removed her lower clothes and she pleaded with "Alberto" to stop him but he left the room.

Berisha put her legs on his shoulders and put his weight on her. He was fumbling with his penis so she asked him if he was wearing a condom. He got very angry and said "You Irish prostitute, I'll kill you". He then raped her.

Afterwards, he went to the bathroom and got some tissues and threw them at her. She was bleeding quite heavily as she had her period so he told her to clean up the blood. He then left the room.

The woman had said she was in shock so she was just sitting on the bed. "Alberto" came back in and told her not to contact the gardaí as Berisha would kill her and also that she was not to contact him again. He then left the flat.

Berisha came back into the room, put the bedcover over her and got in beside her. He held her tightly and told her she was to stay with him that night.

The woman had said she did not sleep that night but as it got light around 6am, Berisha woke up.

She said she had to go to work and tried to get out of bed but he rolled on top of her and made her take his penis in her mouth.

He was very angry and told her she had to give him oral sex. When he ejaculated in her mouth, she tried to move away but he would not let her and made her swallow it.

The woman again said she had to go to work and slowly got out of bed. She got dressed and went to the kitchen. Berisha followed her out and put his arms around her. He told her they should get married and then walked her down to the door.

The woman went home and called her friend. She went into work and told her supervisor she had been mugged as she was in a very emotional state.

She also rang her sister who told her to ring the Rape Crisis Centre. She also went to the gardaí that night.

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