An Albanian man who repeatedly raped a 23-year old woman he met on dating website showed no remorse even after being found guilty, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The judge said that Bajo Ziflai, who came from Albania to live with his brother in Wexford, had failed to acknowledge the harm he caused to the young woman he assaulted an address in Galway two years ago.
Ziflai continues to assert that the woman made up the allegations because she was “attention seeking”, despite being as found guilty by a jury last year of four counts of raping the victim and one count of sexually assaulting her.
He gave a false name on the dating website and was 20 years old at the time of the attack.
Ms Justice Eileen Creedon at the sentencing hearing yesterday noted Ziflai has shown no remorse or acknowledged the harm he caused to the woman. She also described the attack as premeditated, noting the use of a false name.
She said that the attack had a “significant” effect on the victim who now suffers from PTSD and depression as a result, and sentenced Ziflai to 10 years in jail with the final year suspended on a number of conditions.
The court heard that Ziflai arranged to meet the woman at an address in Galway, and that she was driven there by her mother.
The victim had told Ziflai that they would not be having sex, but he raped the woman four times and sexually assaulted her before she managed to escape and leave the house when she called her mother.
Ms Justice Creedon said that the refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing meant there was no mitigation open to Ziflai. He will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
The court heard that the woman had brought pizza and sweets to the house and that there was consensual kissing between the pair until Ziflai asked if the woman wanted to have sex and she replied no.
He then forced her legs open, even though she “at all times told him to stop”, and repeatedly raped her.
An exam in the sexual assault treatment unit of her local hospital showed she had sustained bruising and cuts to her genital area.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said she went to meet what “I thought was a nice man” but that meeting “changed my life forever”.
“I have two whys. Why did I go there? Why did he rape me?” she said, saying that she now experiences disturbing flashbacks and has started to self-harm. She has to take medication to help her sleep and has been diagnosed with PTSD.
“Not once did you show remorse or say sorry. I can never forgive you for taking away that true version of me,” she stated.