Suspended sentences for rapes 'sends out wrong message to victims'

Campaigners are warning about the message sent out when a sex offender gets a suspended sentence.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre was reacting to the punishment handed down to a Wexford businessman for an attack on a young woman in Killarney in August 2011.

The now 48-year-old dragged his victim into the spare bedroom of a Bed and Breakfast where he assaulted her.

Handing down sentence yesterday, the judge at Tralee Circuit Court noted the "hugely traumatic effect" the ordeal had on the victim, but also noted the man's guilty plea.

The judge suspended a two-year jail term for two years and the offender he was also put on the sex offender's register.

CEO of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Ellen O'Malley Dunlop says when an entire sentence is suspended, victims often feel they haven't got justice.

She said: "That doesn't give out a good message for victims, but we do hope that any current victims that is in the system will stay the course.

"Now this man, he has been named and he is on the sex offenders' register for the next five years and I do hope that the victim, in this case, feels that she has got some justice."

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