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Man jailed for raping 15-year-old girl in Stratford

Rufat Kasamaj sexually assaulted a vulnerable 15-year-old girl in Stratford in September 2021 (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

A man has been jailed for more than 10 years after pleading guilty to raping a teenage girl at a shopping centre in Stratford.

Rufat Kasamaj, 36, of Leyton, was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison, with an extended five years on license, at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, 26 October.

The 15-year-old victim was with her friends at a bar in Westfield shopping centre when she became separated from her group.

She was approached by Kasamaj who said he would help her but instead he steered her to a bench where he raped her. He then fled the scene.

The girl approached a member of the public who called her parents and explained what had happened. He travelled with the victim to her home station where she was met by her father.

They reported the attack to the police who immediately launched an investigation into what happened.

Detectives reviewed CCTV which had captured parts of the incident. It showed Kasamaj made his way to Stratford station where he tapped in to get through the barriers.

The Oyster card he used was unregistered however as the footage showed the exact time he went through the barriers, officers were able to get the 12-digit card number and analyse his travel history.

It showed that on most evenings he would tap in at North Greenwich station between 5pm and 5.30pm before tapping out at Leyton station around 18 minutes later.

Officers went to Leyton station and arrested him two days after the attack.

Detective Inspector Claudine Davie said: “Kasamaj is clearly a dangerous predator who carried out a horrific sexual assault on a young teenager who he knew was in a vulnerable position.

“He subjected her to an ordeal which will stay with her for the rest of her life and which has understandably had a huge impact on her mental health.

“She has shown real bravery in coming to court this week and reliving what happened to her that evening. Similarly we must pay a huge thanks to the member of the public who assisted her after the assault and helped her get home to her family.”

The girl was provided with specialist support, including a dedicated SOIT officer, throughout the investigation.

DI Davie added: “It is a top priority for the Met to target those responsible for violence against women and girls and to stop them from causing any further harm.

“I urge anyone who is a victim of rape or sexual assault to report it to police. As this case demonstrates, we will treat your allegations seriously and support you throughout the process while doing everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.”

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