‘I had my life stolen from me’ – York victim speaks out after rapist jailed for nine years

16 Feb 2021 @ 2.23 pm
| Crime

A ‘calculating and manipulative’ York man who lured a woman to his home where he raped her has been jailed.

Fasil Demsash, 48, of Holgate Road, was sentenced to nine years in prison at York Crown Court today (Tuesday).

In autumn 2018, Demsash met his victim at a bar in York city centre, before they returned to his home where he raped her.

His victim went straight to a local police station to report the incident and following an extensive investigation, Demsash was found guilty.

Demsash committed the rape six months before he stood as a Labour candidate in the Westfield ward for the City of York Council elections in 2019.

He was a tutor at the York and Hull Medical School, part of the University of York.

After the sentencing, Detective Constable Alyson Thompson of North Yorkshire Police said: “Demsash is a calculating and manipulative man who took advantage of his victim and who has since continued to use his influence to protest his innocence, showing no remorse for his crime.

“From the very outset, he attempted to undermine the victim suggesting she made up the allegation in order to sabotage his political campaign.

“Despite conclusive forensic evidence he still denied the incident took place, forcing his victim to relive the night over and over again, feeling as though she herself was on trial.

“The victim has been extremely brave by giving her evidence despite having to wait over two years for justice to be done.  We hope she will now have some closure, allowing her to move on with her life.”

‘Almost too much to bear’

York Crown Court. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Following his sentencing, Demsash’s victim released an impassioned statement.

She said: “Is it not enough to have been violated? Is it not enough to have had to experience the helplessness of being held down and raped?

“I know that this is going to be with me for the rest of my life. This is one of the hardest things to deal with, as I know there is so much hard work and hurt ahead.

“Whilst I am willing to fight for my quality of life, I feel it is extremely unfair and keep asking myself, why me? Was it something I had done? I must be worthless, all these awful intrusive and dark thoughts.

“I didn’t just get raped that night, I had my life stolen from me.

“Having to go through reliving it day by day with the police and friends and family was almost too much for me to take, you just want it to go away, but you also need to get justice and stop this happening to anyone else, the responsibility and expectation to have to go through the whole process is huge and not easy at all.

“I just want to send all my thoughts and love to anyone that has ever been a victim of sexual assault too. You are a survivor and you are so strong and no one can take that away from you”.

In addition to nine years’ imprisonment, Demsash was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register.