Man sentenced to five years imprisonment for rape

A man who raped a woman he’d been chatting with online before arranging to meet for coffee has been imprisoned for five years.

31 year old Daniel Maymay  of Thornbury, Kilmacrennan Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, appeared before Mr Justice Paul Burns in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin today (Monday) after being found guilty of one count of rape on January 28, 2019.

Maymay had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one of false imprisonment. The matter went to trial in October of this year. The jury convicted him of one count of rape, but acquitted him on the second count of rape and the false imprisonment charge.

An investigating garda told John Gallagher BL, prosecuting, that the victim and Maymay had chatted over social media and arranged to meet for coffee and to smoke cannabis. The victim thought this was an opportunity to make a friend.

On the day in question, Maymay pulled up in his car and the victim got in. They then drove off in a direction that the woman didn’t believe she had travelled before.

During the journey, Maymay and the woman chatted. She was concerned about where they were going as she was unfamiliar with the area.

They arrived in Letterkenny at Maymay’s residence and entered the property through the French doors. Maymay placed a hand on the woman’s back to guide her into a bedroom.

The woman felt uncomfortable, but didn’t want to say anything as she didn’t know where she was or how Maymay may react.

They smoked cannabis, then Maymay commented on the woman’s waist and lifted her top. The court heard that the victim accepted during cross-examination that oral sex was performed.

Maymay then touched the woman to initiate sexual contact. She told him to stop and that she wanted to go home.

Maymay told her she was 21 and “you don’t have to go home”. He then raped her.

The woman felt nauseous and was taken to a shower room afterwards.

Maymay then left the property, and offered to get food for the woman.

The court heard the woman didn’t initially report the rape. Her mother gave evidence during the trial that the woman seemed “despondent” after returning home to a location in Northern Ireland. She asked if the man she was with had hurt her and her daughter nodded.

The victim’s mother then asked “did he rape you?” and the woman nodded again.

A complaint was made to the PSNI, before it was identified that the incident took place in Donegal. The woman was taken to a sexual assault treatment unit.

Following his arrest, Maymay told gardai that he knew the woman had contacted the police as she had deleted their Instagram chat.

When interviewed, Maymay accepted meeting the woman and maintained there had been consensual sexual intercourse.

The woman’s victim impact statement was read to the court by the investigating garda. She said she had spent nearly five years in “constant fear”.

She said she withdrew socially following this incident and has had issues sleeping. She said she finds it difficult to be in the presence of men and has lost trust in people.

The woman said she found coming to court for the trial to be a “terrifying” and “most traumatic” experience.

She said the guilty verdict will help with her recovery. “Why should he get away with it? The truth is out now.”

Maymay has 17 previous convictions including one for violent disorder and possession of drugs for sale or supply. In 2020, his permission to remain within the State expired and has not been renewed.

Shane Costelloe SC, defending, outlined to the court that the prosecution alleged that Maymay raped the woman, then there was an interlude before the second rape occurred. His client was then accused of leaving the woman “trapped” in the house.

The garda accepted that Maymay was acquitted of the first alleged rape and false imprisonment, but convicted of another rape.

Mr Costelloe noted that the woman said she told Maymay to stop, but he didn’t. Maymay said he stopped immediately, however the jury “decided this was not the case”.

The garda agreed that Maymay told gardai during interview about the circumstances surrounding the violent disorder charge, which related to an incident in 2013.

It was further accepted that Maymay is known to gardai as someone who smokes cannabis and has no previous convictions of a sexual nature.

Mr Costelloe told the court his client is from the Philippines but came to Ireland at the age of 12. His father served in the army and died in the line of duty. His mother passed away due to cancer.

Maymay’s siblings were already in Ireland and he moved here to live with them.

He worked as a chef, but lost employment during Covid-19. Maymay has two children and his brother was in court to support him.

The court heard that the Director of Public Prosecution’s view is that the headline sentence should be between seven and 10 years.

Mr Costelloe noted that the case would have been “deeply traumatising” for the victim.

He suggested that the court consider the “sequencing of events” and that the jury didn’t convict Maymay in relation to the first alleged rape.

He suggested the court treat Maymay as “someone who began a sexual act in a mistaken belief” that the act was consensual and sentence his client on the basis that he was reckless as to whether or not there was consent, rather than intentionally.

He submitted “there is a world of difference” between an offence committed with intent or one on the basis of recklessness. Mr Costelloe argued this would mean that the court should set a headline sentence at a lower level than suggested by the DPP, and then consider the mitigation.

Mr Gallagher told the court that the prosecution say this is a “distinction without difference” as their case is that Maymay was aware there was no consent at that point.

In a letter handed in to the court by Maymay,  he apologised for what he did and expressed regret. He also said he accepts the verdict of the jury.

Maymay said he hoped the victim could find it in her heart to forgive him and wished her family the best.

Imposing sentenceMr Justice Paul Burns said: “The crime of rape is a serious matter.”

He said the mitigating factors were that Maymay had no history of sexual offending, that he answered questions put to him during garda interview and that he abided by bail.

Mr Justice Burns noted that the woman has a history of anxiety and depression and that she has struggled to sleep since the rape. He wished her the best for the future.

He sentenced Maymay to six years’ imprisonment but suspended the final year on strict conditions in order to incentivise rehabilitation.

The sentence was backdated to when Maymay went into custody on October 13, 2023.