Woman gang-raped in 24-hour ordeal

A Lithuanian woman was gang-raped, drugged and told she would be sold into prostitution during an ordeal, a court heard today.

The victim was abducted from a pub in the North and attacked by at least five men during her 24-hour imprisonment.

Three fellow Lithuanian nationals were sentenced to between eight and 14 years behind bars.

Mr Justice Ben Stephens told a Crown Court in Belfast: “This was a horrific experience of complete sexual, mental and physical violation.

“A total degradation of her body and mind, brutal, sordid perversion.”

The victim, sexually naive, with few connections in a foreign country, had been left vulnerable by an earlier rape when she was persuaded to meet one of her attackers in a bar.

She was subsequently taken by car to a remote mountainous area, stripped and raped.

Her captors tried to feed her ecstasy and later took her to a house where more serial attacks happened.

Cousins Saulius Petraitis (aged 24) Vitalijus Petraitis, and Audrius Sliogeris (aged 23) were all in the dock facing charges including rape, kidnap and unlawful imprisonment.

Saulius Petraitis and Sliogeris were given 14 years imprisonment and told they would be deported following their release. Vitalijus Petraitis was given eight years and also recommended for deportation.

All three signed the sex offenders register.

The judge said an uncharged man, Julius, planned to "induct'' the victim, referred to in court as "TR", into prostitution.

He added the financial objective of the plan from the point of view of Julius was that once she was inducted she would be sold for €15,000.

“In essence the aim was to cut her off from her friends, her home and family and the person that she was and to utterly change her life.

“The purpose of multiple rapes as far as Julius was concerned being to force TR to experience intercourse in one day with a number of men and familiarise TR with the working life of a prostitute,” he said.

The victim was raped on one occasion after being lured to a “party” but then pursued by her attackers.

She was later persuaded to meet Julius in a bar, then taken away in his car.

Once in the vehicle, which Sliogeris and Saulius later got into, the helpless victim was locked inside and rapidly became distraught and hysterical.

Mr Justice Stephens said the assailants demanded her passport.

“The inquiry about her passport was particularly sinister. The cumulative effect was that TR (the victim) would despair and fear for her life.”

He added: “She started to scream, to kick out and to fight, in an attempt to leave the car the windscreen window of the car was cracked by TR, such was the force she was using to kick out.”

He said she was taken to a deserted mountain track and raped by Julius while Sliogeris and Vitalijus sat on the bonnet of the car awaiting their turn.

The victim was also forced to perform oral sex, degraded and humiliated, despite weeping and pleading with her attackers to accept a ransom for her release.

Although the judge said all three men were dangerous, Vitalijus did not participate in the kidnap and the false imprisonment charge did not proceed.

While in the car she was given crushed ecstasy, but managed to spit out what little made it into her mouth.

Judge Stephens added: “TR was told: ’From this day on you will be eating them every day’.”

During the journey to the house Julius was on his mobile phone to friends saying: “Come over to my place, we will have some fun.”

The victim was terrified when she arrived and was dragged out of the car and into the house.

The judge added: “She was taken to a bedroom and she was then sequentially raped by at least five different men, including you Audrius Sliogeris, you Saulius Petraitis and you Vitalijus Petraitis.”

He said the attitude of the occupants of the house was as if nothing untoward had happened.

“They watched TV and played computer games, they laughed and joked.”

He said TR was told nobody would buy her if she cried and did not want to work.

A man even came to look at her at the house before the victim offered to find a friend who could pay her captors £5,000 (€6,422) to secure her release.

Judge Stephens said he accepted there was nothing to suggest those in the dock would have gained financially.

He added: “The offence was not motivated by hostility towards or prejudice against Lithuanians. However, I consider that all of you did exploit the vulnerability of a fellow national who had no close ties with the local community.”

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