Rapist jailed twenty years after attack

BEHIND BARS: Asuma was finally imprisoned after walking free for 20 years

A MAN has been jailed for raping a teenage girl on a Halloween in Manchester nearly 20 years ago.

James Asuma, 57, from Leeds,  pleaded guilty to rape at an earlier hearing, and was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail at Minshull Street Crown Court on 19 January 2010.

Asuma raped his victim, who was just 18-years-old and studying in Manchester at the time, on 31 October 1990.

The pair had met in a pub in Fallowfield earlier that evening and drove her to his bedsit in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, in his white car.

While in his room, Asuma raped the teenage girl and repeatedly told her to ‘shut up’ as she was crying. Afterwards, he drove her back to Fallowfield and threatened to hurt her if she ever mentioned what happened to anyone.

Although the victim went to the Sexual Assault Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester shortly after she was raped, she was too traumatised to tell police.

In March 2007, she reported it to the Metropolitan Police where she was living, and officers from the Stockport Rape Investigation Team launched an investigation.

The description the victim gave was sent out to a number of police officers that worked in Cheadle Hulme in the 1990s. An officer came forward and provided the details of Asuma, as he remembered being in Asuma’s bedsit during another inquiry and that he had a white car, and the details matched the descriptions given by the victim.

Asuma was then arrested and when the victim was presented with a picture of how he looked at the time of the rape, he was positively identified.

He has previously been convicted of a rape in 1995, for which he was sentenced to five years and six months in jail.

Detective Constable Kat Moriarty, from the Stockport Rape Investigation Team, said: “I hope this case sends out a powerful message to rapists and sex offenders that no matter when they commit these awful crimes, and no matter how much time elapses, we will never stop pursuing them until they are behind bars.

“The victim was just 18 when she was raped and spent years traumatised and too afraid to come forward.

“However, she found the courage to do so and because she did, Asuma is now behind bars where he cannot hurt anyone else. I know the victim is very keen to reach out to other women who may have been raped and have not been able to speak out yet so that they do not continue to suffer in silence.

“I would echo that message and stress that no matter how long ago you were attacked, do not keep that terrible secret to yourself. If you come forward, we will endevour to bring your attackers to justice.”

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency.

GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.

St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, can also be contacted on 0161 276 6515. This provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault.

Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.

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