Man found guilty of ‘disturbing’ double rape of young gay woman after claiming sex was consensual

A mugshot of rapist Yuseab Woldeab

A man has been found guilty of kidnapping and the rape of a young gay woman after claiming to be a taxi driver.

28-year-old Yuseab Woldeab was unanimously found guilty of the double rape after just two hours of deliberation by jury members.

The ruling was met with audible cheers from activists in the public gallery who had paid attention to the trial.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that Woldeab lured the 20-year-old victim, who was heavily intoxicated, into his car after “prowling the streets looking for a victim”.

He then took her back to his address where committed rape “within minutes” according to testimony from detectives.

Investigating officer Chris Kinski said: “This was a truly horrendous and disturbing crime. Woldeab could see that the victim was vulnerable as she was heavily intoxicated.

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“He used this entirely to his advantage when approaching her that night,” he continued. “I wish to thank the victim for her incredible bravery in coming forward.”

The victim – who repeatedly told investigating officers that she was in a committed same-sex relationship – recalled that she had been on a night out with two of her friends in a local nightclub prior to the incident taking place.

CCTV footage revealed Woldeab was at the same club as the victim during the night out, though they did not interact.

He had claimed that she told Woldeab that he was her “type” before getting in the car, although cross-examination quickly proved this to be false.

During a police interview, the victim, who routinely broke down sobbing, told officers that she believed one of her drinks had been “spiked” prior to the rape and she could scarcely remember much of the night beyond that point.

The victim recalled Yusaeb Woldeab calling ‘taxi’ to her

When asked whether she had consented, the victim replied: “It definitely was not done with my consent. I would not have consented to have sex with a man.

“I’ve not had sex with a man before. I’m in a happy gay relationship. I would not have consented to have sex with a man. Ever.”

She remembered frantically leaving the property after the rape crime had taken place and running down the street.

After reaching Plymouth’s City College, CCTV footage showed that she attempted to hail a nearby car, which didn’t stop.

The rape victim eventually contacted a friend over Snapchat and a formal police report was later filed.

Plymouth Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) found traces of Woldeab’s DNA in both orifices of the victim.

“I have no doubt what happened that night will stay with the victim forever,” Kinski said. “I hope this sentencing can provide her with some sense of closure so that she can move on with the same courage and determination that she has shown throughout this process.

“We would urge anyone suffering in silence to come forward.”

Judge Peter Johnson told the court that a pre-sentence report for Yuseab Woldeab was necessary before sentencing could occur.

He suggested that a sentencing hearing could occur in the next three weeks, but certainly before the end of the month.

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