Romanian jailed for his part in gang rape

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A man who was part of a gang which raped a woman has been jailed for seven years.

Florin Muntean, 27, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to rape.

The court had previously heard the young woman had made three serious suicide attempts. Judge McColgan said since the victim’s attack, “she remains extremely traumatised and it’s clear that this trauma will be enduring for many years to come.”

Ordering Muntean to spend half his sentence in jail and half on licence, Judge McColgan confirmed that like his accomplices, he will be deported back to Romania on release.

Muntean pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to rape on 25 August 2014 but not guilty to rape on the same date.

Three other defendants, Florin Cirpaci (37), Ioan Lacatus (28) and Aurel Teglas (24), all with addresses in the Portadown area, were handed sentences totalling 16 years in May last year after they pleaded guilty to conspiring with Muntean to commit rape.

Muntean had fled NI and was only brought back here last summer on foot of a European Arrest warrant.

Judge McColgan told the court how the then 22-year-old student met the defendants at Bar 2 in Portadown and although she remembers being there, “her next memory however is waking up in a bedroom being raped.”

Judge McColgan said while Muntean has pleaded guilty, albeit very close to his trial, the evidence against him was “very strong” given the DNA profile taken from Muntean matched semen on intimate swabs taken from the victim, coupled with CCTV and mobile phone site analysis.

The judge said there were numerous aggravating factors including the fact the victim was raped by two or more people acting together, had been held against her will and the attack has had a “serious impact” on her life.

In relation to Muntean, Judge McColgan revealed he had been assessed as posing a low risk of reoffending but that in his probation report he had been “less than truthful” in his account of the offence.

The judge told him that had he not confessed his guilt, she would have given him a nine year sentence but would allow him a limited discount for his guilty plea.

In addition, Muntean is to remain on the police sex offenders register “for the rest of his life.”

Having had it confirmed that Muntean will be deported once released from jail, it was further confirmed the other three defendants had already been deported.