Men who gang-raped teenage girl jailed for up to 19 years

Five men who took part in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl in a car in the Midlands have been jailed for a total of 66 years.

Judge Tara Burns said the men, aged 17 to 19 at the time, “behaved like animals” on the night of December 27, 2016. She said there was “no shred of humanity or respect” in their actions.

She said the rapes and sexual assaults committed by the men involved “the most extreme degradation of nature”, and that even without the use of violence, “the act of gang rape is an offensive behavior of the most serious nature”.

The judge said in that case that “the gang rape was accompanied by a shooting” where a “gang of men” stood outside a car in which a young woman was being raped.

“This depravity is absolutely shocking,” she said.

The attacks occurred on Saint-Étienne night until the following morning. The victim and his friends had gone to Tullamore, Co Offaly to celebrate the night.

At the end of the night, the victim separated from his friends and decided to try to walk to the home of another friend who lived nearby. She heard someone calling her from a passing car and mistakenly concluded that it was her friends returning to pick her up, so she got into the car.

The victim said Monday before the central criminal court that she still blamed herself for this “stupid” decision.

On Thursday, Judge Tara Burns told the woman that ‘she was neither stupid nor naive’ and that it was reasonable for her to assume that local boys her age would bring her home safely.

“She was entitled to assume that society operates in a civilized manner. She didn’t know she had gotten into a car with people who had no respect for her or for themselves.

The court heard that before picking up the victim on the night in question, the car drove 15 times around the town of Tullamore, with occupants yelling at people through open windows. The court heard that one of the men recognized the victim on social media, but none of the occupants of the car knew her personally and she did not know any of them.

Once in the car, the young girl realized that she did not know any of the occupants. She asked them to drop her off at a location in the county, but instead the car was driven on back roads to nearby Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, and the men began to sexually assault her on the journey .

The car parked in a secluded dry dock in Kilbeggan. Gabriel Gomes Da Rocha (24) from Mount Armstrong, Rahan, Tullamore, Marcos Vinicius De Silva Umbelino (22) from Riverview, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath and Conor Byrne (24) from Ballybeg, Moate, Co Westmeath then each in turn role raping her one after another.

Gabriel Gomes Da Rocha (24) from Mount Armstrong, Rahan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo: Collins

Marcos Vinicius De Silva Umbelino (22) from Riverview, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath. Photo: Collins

Ethan Nikolaou (23) from Brosna Park, Kilbeggan was the last man to get back into the car. He sexually assaulted her after rubbing himself naked against her.

After two of the men were dropped off, the car was then driven to Whitehall car park in Tullamore. There she pleaded to be released, but the remaining men kept asking for a threesome to which he kept saying no.

Eduardo Dias Ferreira Filho (24), from Riverview, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath. Photo: Collins

Ethan Nikolaou (23) from Brosna Park, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath. Photo: Collins

The men stopped her from leaving the car and Eduardo Dias Ferreira Filho (24) of Riverview, Kilbeggan orally raped her at the same time Da Rocha raped her in his second rape of the night.

Judge Burns imposed a 15-year sentence on Umbelino. She sentenced Ferreira Filho to 18 years in prison.

She sentenced Da Rocha, who raped the teenager twice, to 20 years. She sentenced Nikolaou to seven years in prison for the sexual assault committed in connection with the gang rapes.

She suspended the last year of all these terms. Judge Burns also imposed concurrent sentences on some of the men for sexual assaults committed during the car journey from Tullamore to Kilbeggan.

She sentenced Byrne to 12 years and suspended the final two years, taking into account that he had pleaded guilty to rape rather than go to trial.

After a trial in the Central Criminal Court that ran from March to April, a jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on a number of charges ranging from sexual assault to rape.

Aside from Byrne, the defendants had denied the charges and claimed at trial that any sexual activity was consensual. Lawyers for Da Rocha, Ferreira Filho and Nikolaou told the court on Monday that their clients now accept the jury’s verdict and are remorseful.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the 24-hour National Rape Helpline on 1800 77 8888, access texting service and chat options by line on drcc.ie/services/helplineor visit Help in case of a rape crisis