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From the Galway Bay FM Newsroom – A woman with mild intellectual disability who was raped three times by a stranger after a night out in a western Irish town has told a court that something inside her was broken and could never be repaired.

Costel Pirvu, 38, formerly of Loughrea, was found guilty of three counts of rape and one of false imprisonment after a nine-day trial at the Central Criminal Court last year.

At a hearing this week, the court heard he continued to maintain his innocence.

On February 4, 2018, the woman, who was 19 at the time, was out with friends who walked her halfway.

She told gardaí that she saw a man she didn’t know staring at her and she ran, but he grabbed her and forced her against a black jeep, then to the ground, and raped her though she struggled to escape, getting scratches and bruises.

The woman said Pirvu refused to let her go home, threatened her and forced her back to her apartment. She said she thought if she didn’t do what he wanted, he would hurt her.

CCTV footage showed Pirvu and the victim walking back to her flat, where she told Gardaí he raped her twice more and finally let her go the next morning when a friend of his entered .

The woman said she then ran home crying and upset and told her mother, who took her to the guardhouse to file a complaint and then to the Sexual Assault and Treatment Unit in Galway.

Pirvu was arrested that evening, his apartment was searched and a DNA sample was taken.

He admitted meeting the woman but said she voluntarily returned to his home where they had consensual sex.

The court heard that the victim no longer felt safe and was constantly watching who was behind her. She cannot eat or sleep properly and suffers from PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

The court heard that Pirvu had three previous convictions in Romania and Germany, including for robbery, attempted rape and assault.

Mrs Justice Deirdre Murphy said she was told that Pirvu had been beaten in jail but she was unsure if that was true or not as she had not been given the jail report she had asked.

She adjourned the case for a week so she can find out when the prison report will be available and she apologized to the victim for the delay in sentencing.

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