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Walsall man guilty of pulling schoolgirl into deeper water at Bournemouth beach and raping her

A Black Country man has been found guilty of raping a schoolgirl in the sea during a busy summer’s day at a beach after pulling her of her depth.

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Gabriel Marinoaica, aged 20, of Darlaston near Walsall was convicted of rape and three counts of sexual assault related to an incident at Bournemouth beach on July 18, 2021 near to the resort's Oceanarium.

The 15-year-old victim was playing with a ball with her friends in the water when it landed in front of the defendant. When she approached to asked for it back the defendant began engaging her in conversation.

He then pulled her deeper out to sea until she could not touch the floor before he sexually assaulted her and then raped her.

The jury at Bournemouth Crown Court heard that she was only able to escape when a friend of his approached them and she scrambled back to the beach and her own group of friends. She told them what had happened and they helped her get away from the beach to safety.

Gabriel Marinoaica

The court heard that despite being deeply shocked and upset by what had happened she was able to tell her family. As a result the assault was reported to Dorset Police and an investigation was launched, led by detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).

Marinoaica's DNA profile was obtained leading to his arrest at his home address in Darlaston in June 2022 and he subsequently charged with the sex offences.

Det Insp Mark Jenkins, of MCIT, said: “We have carried out extensive and detailed enquiries to identify the culprit for this horrific sexual attack and I want to praise the young victim in the case for the courage she has shown throughout the investigation and court process.

“I hope the bravery she has shown will encourage other victims of sexual offences to have the strength to come forward in the knowledge that they will be supported, and we will do everything we can to ensure offenders face justice.

“I want to thank all those involved in this complex investigation and the Crown Prosecution Service for its assistance in bringing the case to trial and securing the conviction of Gabriel Marinoaica.”

Marinoaica will be sentenced next month.

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