The tricycle driver who was accused of raping a 21-year old Irish woman in an alley in El Nido was sentenced Monday to suffer 12-20 years in jail and pay the victim P100,000 in indemnity.
Palawan provincial prosecutor Alen Ross Rodriguez said Judge Lea Mendoza of Branch 164 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Roxas town handed down the sentence to Perry Gaspe after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the Irish national on the morning of February 13.
The speedy trial was done after Gaspe requested the prosecution to open the plea bargaining to admit his guilt for a minimum sentence.
“Continuation of trial kaninang 1:30 p.m., nag-request ang abogado ng akusado na si Atty. Shirley Daganta na i-reopen ang pre-trial conference kasi gusto nilang mag-avail ng plea bargaining at humingi sila sa amin na i-open at pinayagan naman ng court at kaninang hapon, instead na i-presenta namin ‘yong biktima, na re-arraign ‘yong akusado kasi nag plea of guilt na siya pero part doon sa plea bargaining agreement gusto niya hindi ‘yong maximum penalty ang ipataw sa kanya. Instead of 20-40 years ay naging 12-20 years lang,” he said.
Rodriguez said the mother of the victim came all the way from Great Britain just to attend the trial.
He said the victim’s mother appreciated the fast resolution of the case.
“‘Yong mother ng victim, she came all the way from Great Britain just to attend to her daughter’s situation. Nakakaawa sila, nag-iiyakan silang mag-nanay. Pero tuwang-tuwa siya, very happy siya dahil very swift ‘yong justice. ‘Yon din ang na-appreciate nila sa atin kasi akala nila we have to go through the motions sa susunod pang buwan o taon ‘yong magte-testify siya. May sense of urgency ang opisina namin para maka-secure tayo ng justice,” he said.
He added that with the cooperation of the court, justice was given to the rape victim.
Rodriguez said Gaspe will be transferred to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) within 15 days.
According to a police spot report, Gaspe was accused of raping the Irish woman around 4:00 a.m. on February 13 in an alley going to Elternative Hostel along the national highway in Barangay Maligaya, El Nido.
The rape occurred after the Irish tourist and her friends hired Gaspe’s tricycle to take them to their different accommodations.
Upon reaching the Bacuit gas station, the tricycle driver reportedly offered to accompany the victim to get home to her hostel. The victim accepted thinking he was being kind. However, when they got to the alley, Gaspe sexually assaulted her.
The police report said the victim tried to resist Gaspe, but her strength was no match to him. Gaspe who fled after the sexual assault was caught by the El Nido municipal police station around 8:15 a.m. on the same day.