A fast food restaurant worker who raped a woman in Brighton has been jailed.
Bogdan Cioropa, 28, of Staplefield Drive in Brighton, raped his victim – a woman who was 17 years old at the time – at a property in Brighton on Friday, 9 April, 2021.
She reported the offence to police and Cioropa was arrested the following day on suspicion of rape.
The woman was given support by specialist officers while an investigation was carried out.
Cioropa was subsequently charged with rape, attempted oral rape and sexual assault, but left the country before his trial was due to start.
Proceedings continued in his absence and a jury unanimously found him guilty of all three counts at Hove Crown Court on Thursday, 14 September.
At Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday (22 November), Cioropa was sentenced in his absence to nine years in prison.
He was also given a 15-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, a restraining order of 15 years and will be a registered sex offender for life.
After extensive attempts to locate Cioropa in Europe, a warrant is with the Crown Prosecution Service for his arrest and extradition.
Stringent measures are in place to ensure he will be apprehended should he attempt to re-enter the UK.
In a victim impact statement shared with the court, Cioropa’s victim said: “Thanks to you my whole life changed. I went from being innocent to the horrors that go on in this world to no longer being able to trust anyone. I struggle to believe people and I am constantly worrying about their true intentions.
“I had been told about monsters like you my whole life and how I should be cautious, but at the time I was still a child, I had never expected you to be one of those people I should have been watching out for.
“I am thankful for the support I’ve had from my family and friends, the police and especially Laura from Survivors’ Network who has listened to me talk for hours about all my thoughts.”
Detective Constable Laura Pettitt said: “I would like to thank this courageous young woman for the determination she has shown in not only reporting Cioropa’s crimes initially, but for her supporting a court process delayed by his refusal to attend trial and face justice in person.
“The jury were unanimous in finding him guilty of all three charges and he will be placed behind bars where he can pose no further danger to women.
“I hope this result provides his victim and her family with some degree of comfort as they look to move on with their lives.
“If you or someone you know is a victim of crime, please report it to police online, via 101 or by calling 999 in an emergency. You will be believed and supported, and we will do all we can to bring you justice.”