Sixteen years in jail for man who raped young girl
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A young rape victim has said she is looking forward to being able to lead a normal life again after her perpetrator was sentenced to spend the next 16 years behind bars.
Eugen Andrei, 36, of Luton was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting the young girl numerous times over the course of a year, before she found the courage to disclose it to police in May 2022.
He was arrested a few days later and an investigation was launched by Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) team.
Following a five-day trial at Huntington Crown Court earlier this year, Andrei was found guilty of four counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a child to watch a sexual act.
He was sentenced last Friday (5 May) to 16 years in prison and an additional four years on licence.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, the victim said: “Knowing that he can’t get to me now makes me feel safe, and I feel so much more free than I used to.
“I can go back to leading a normal life and going out to places with my friends and family.”
Detective Constable Bethany Elliott, who led the investigation, said: “Rape and sexual abuse is the most horrendous experience for any child to have to go through as it not only ruins their young years but can stay with them through adulthood too.
“In this case, Andrei also tried to groom the girl by forming a sexual relationship with her and telling her that the age gap didn’t matter; really trying to gain her trust so he could exploit and take advantage of her in the worst possible way.
“The victim showed a huge amount of bravery in coming forward and telling us what had happened, especially as Andrei pleaded not guilty to all charges and therefore she had to endure giving evidence during the trial.
“Combatting violence against women and girls is huge focus in policing at the moment and I’m pleased that this sentence reflects the hard work that goes into our investigations and serves as a warning to other perpetrators that we will do whatever it takes to bring a case to court and get justice for our victims.
“If anything has happened to you, no matter how long ago, it is never too late to come forward and tell us. We will do everything we can to get justice for you, and we have a number of specially trained officers who are here to support you.”
Anyone who wants to come forward and report sexual abuse, regardless of when it happened, can contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or via beds.police.uk/ro/report
The force has specialist teams dedicated to supporting victims and works with a range of other agencies to provide support.