Internet rape pair jailed

TWO teenage friends have been jailed for six years each after they were found guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl they met over the internet.

James Hore

TWO teenage friends have been jailed for six years each after they were found guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl they met over the internet.

Jean-Claude Rugero, 19, and 17-year-old Prince Afriyie attacked the teenager after travelling from East London to meet her in Colchester in August last year.

The pair had both denied raping her in a garden area at the centre of St Botolph's roundabout, but were found guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court last month.

During the trial Rugero, of Ilford, admitted that he planned to use his mobile phone to film Afriyie having sex with the victim because he thought what was happening was “funny”.

Jurors were told the three, who corresponded on networking sites including Bebo, initially agreed to meet in Colchester on the night of the attack but the girl later changed her mind.

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However, in a chance encounter, the pair drove past as the girl was walking home.

After recognising her from photographs exchanged over the internet, they stopped and got out of the vehicle to talk to her.

They then raped her after leading her through an underpass into an area in the middle of the roundabout.

The girl told detectives how Rugero held her shoulder while she was raped by his friend.

“When it was happening it was like my body closed down,” she said. “All I could move was my eyes.”

She said the Afriyie, of Chigwell, had “yanked” her trousers and underwear down and raped her as Rugero laughed.

“All I could hear was him laughing,” she told police during interviews.

Speaking after the sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Detective Sergeant Steve Jennings said he hoped the victim, who cannot be named, would now be able to start rebuilding her life.

He said: “What started off as an innocent encounter on a social networking site led to a very nasty sexual assault.

“The defendants tried to arrange a meeting with the girl but she very sensibly decided not to meet.

“However the defendants decided to travel to Colchester where they recognised the girl from her picture on the networking site and took their opportunity to assault her.

“Although incidents like this are rare it does highlight the dangers of social networking sites.

“The victim has had to go through the court process and I hope the sentences today will help her rebuild her life.”