Man pleads guilty to raping woman in a Southampton park
Main article content
A Southampton man has pleaded guilty to raping a teenager in a local park.
Appearing at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 18 July) Rosario Raquel Dos Reis, aged 27, of St. Mary Street, Southampton faced charges of rape and two counts of sexual assault on a female.
It comes after officers were called to Palmerston Park in Southampton at around 7am on Sunday 19 February after a then 19-year-old woman had been raped.
The court heard how a passer-by was walking through the park and witnessed Reis attacking the woman in a bush at around 7.05am on that morning.
The woman called out to the member of public for help – and startled by this, Reis fled the scene.
Police were alerted and CCTV operators traced Reis to a National Express coach station where he was detained and arrested.
He was charged and remanded in custody on Tuesday 21 February until his trial began on Monday 17 July.
During the second day of the trial, Reis entered in a guilty plea to the charge of rape.
Reis was also accused of two counts of assault by penetration, sexual assault and attempted rape and these will lie on file.
Following the guilty plea, a sentencing date has been set for Monday 4 September.
Detective Inspector Claire Shawley, said: “This was an abhorrent attack on a very vulnerable woman – with those events of that Sunday morning still impacting the victim to this day.
“I want to acknowledge how brave the victim has been in coming forward, reporting the incident and providing us with evidence to secure this conviction. This has been a harrowing experience for the victim to have to re-live, but her actions in reporting this has allowed us to take swift action and remove a dangerous predatory man off the streets of Southampton.
“We are also incredibly grateful for the member of the public for intervening on that day and for staying with the victim until police arrived.
“The Officer in Case, DC Laura Cook has worked tirelessly, along with the support of an excellent team, to ensure that justice could be served for the sake of the victim; presenting a substantial case to the courts, resulting in Reis entering a plea of guilty.
“We want to show you that no matter the circumstances, we are committed to supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault and we will do everything we can to identify offenders and put them in front of a court.”
If you’ve been a victim, please report rape or sexual assault as soon as possible. Even if you’re not 100 per cent sure, we’d sooner hear from you so that we can make sure you’re safe and discuss options. If you’re not ready to talk to the police just yet, that’s OK. There are a range of places to get support, advice and medical help.