Men convicted of new year rapes

Stair case in jail Around Fife

Two men have been convicted of raping a teenager after New Year celebrations in Kirkcaldy in 2017.

The 18 year old woman had left a nightclub in the early hours of 1st January 2017 when she got into a vehicle she believed to be a taxi. Instead of telling her the car wasn’t a cab, the driver, 19 year old Abel Muntean, took her to an address in the town, occupied by 34 year old Raul Covaci Novac. She was unable to leave this property for a period of several hours.

During the time she was in the company of Muntean and Novac she was subjected to assaults and rape by both men.

Following an investigation by Fife’s Divisional Rape Investigation Unit, Novac and Muntean were identified and charged. Both denied the offences but on Monday 27th May 2019 they were convicted by a jury at Edinburgh High Court; Novac found guilty of assault and rape and Muntean found guilty of abduction, assault, sexual assault and rape.

Both have been remanded in custody before sentencing on 4th July.

Detective Sergeant Calum Lawrie of the DRIU said: “These two men preyed on a young, vulnerable woman who was simply looking to get home after celebrating the New Year. Instead she was duped into entering a vehicle she believed to be a taxi, taken to a property against her will and was subjected to a number of violent, horrific attacks. I commend her bravery in coming forward to report these assaults and her strength in going through these traumatic events again when the pair denied what they had done. I hope she can find some comfort in their convictions.

“Muntean knowingly pretended to be a taxi driver and along with Novac carried out a calculated and brutal attack, and they will receive custodial sentences as a result. We will always do everything possible to thoroughly investigate any report of sexual assault or rape we receive, providing specialist support to the victim and working tirelessly to put those responsible before the courts.”