June 2005

Student jailed for oral rape of girl with learning difficulties

A STUDENT from East Timor who moved to Crewe to start a new life has been jailed for allowing a 12-year-old girl with moderate learning difficulties to perform a sex act on him.

Pedro Pascoa, aged 22, of Gresty Road, Crewe, was sentenced to two years in prison and two years community rehabilitation at Chester Crown Court last week after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to one charge of oral rape.

Pascoa, a Portuguese national, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life, and was banned from working with children.

The court heard that although the 22-year-old was charged for a single offence, he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the 12-year-old girl for around three months.

In September 2004, a teaching assistant at the victim’s school was told the victim was having sex with her boyfriend.

A police investigation led to evidence that the girl had a sexual history and feared she had fallen pregnant several times.

Prosecuting, Prem Jesudason told the court that the girl had initiated her relationship with Pascoa, and had mithered him for sex.

She said: “Her friend said the victim started going out with Pascoa six months earlier in February 2004.

“She had accompanied the victim to Pascoa’s house, and in three months, she had witnessed several sex acts with the defendant.

“She had also seen her take off her clothes in front of him and lie on top of him both clothed and naked.

“The defendant tried to stop her but she carried on. She mithered him for sex and he didn’t stop her, but he did tell her to wait until she was 16-years-old.”

Defending, Anna Price said Pascoa should be given credit for his guilty plea, and explained that the whole case was daunting and shocking for him.

She said: “He wasn’t aware he was committing an offence, but he knew she was 12 and was very frank about that.

“When it comes to sentence, consent is an issue, and while it’s clear he should have asserted himself, it’s also clear that the complainant was the initiator.

“There is no suggestion that he was preying on the young girl, she initiated the first conversation with him and the relationship developed from there.

“It’s clear the girl was sexually experienced at the time of the offence, but his behaviour cannot be condoned in any way.”

In sentencing, Judge Nicholas Woodward told Pascoa he had behaved disgracefully.

He said: “It’s a single offence of oral rape. No force or coercion was used by you and you didn’t instigate the offence.

“However, you are an adult, and she was a child. Adults have a duty to protect children and you failed to carry out that duty, so the court takes over that function.

“Children often have to be protected, even from themselves, and you took advantage of her in a most disgraceful way.”