December 2019

Paedophile drove a young girl to the brink of suicide

A paedophile drove a young girl to the brink of suicide – then falsely blamed her for initiating his sick abuse.

Rommel Torralba, 41, began regularly molesting his vulnerable victim when she was a pre-teen

Liverpool Crown Court heard he made the child perform sex acts on him and also performed them upon her.

The victim later summoned the courage to confront Torralba about the years of abuse she suffered at his hands.

But the brazen pervert had the gall to claim that she initiated it by acting in a sexual nature towards him.

Mark Connor, prosecuting, said Torralba, of Lovely Lane, Bewsey, Warrington , told the victim the sexual activity was normal.

The girl was worried about the consequences if she refused his demands because Torralba had a temper and could be violent.

In a victim personal statement read out in court, she said: “I didn’t really know how to react or what to do.

“When I look back now I can see I was young and vulnerable.

“His actions were selfish – he was only concerned about himself, not what I felt like and the damage he has caused.”

Torralba admitted some of the offences when interviewed by police, but denied other crimes up until the day of a trial.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of inciting sexual activity with a child and 12 counts of sexual activity with a child.

The judge said: “It’s clear from the victim personal statement that these offences have had a very serious effect on a vulnerable young person.”

Judge Cummings added: “She was driven virtually to the point of suicide.

“The responsibility for all that lies squarely with you and no one else. It is all your fault.”

The judge said he had been told Torralba, formerly of Wellfield Street, Warrington, was remorseful.

However, he said: “The victim for her part in her victim personal statement, a very detailed and powerful document, refutes any suggestion of remorse.

“She just does not believe it and so far as she is concerned, the only true categorisation of your presentation is a combination of self-pity and manipulation of others.”

He added: “The facts are thus – you abused this unfortunate child for many years. Matters only came to light not because of you, but because of her.

“She, with great courage, confronted you. Even then your initial response was to deny what she was saying.

“After that, but plainly only because of it, or at the very least in large measure because of it, you yourself went to the police.

“Even then you did not make a clean breast of everything that you had done to her and even then – and this I’m afraid is classic behaviour in the court’s experience of sexual offences – even then you sought to blame her as a child for leading that initial sexual activity.”

Torralba admitted some of the offences in a preliminary hearing, but said they represented all of his crimes and denied abusing the child until she was 14.

Judge Cummings said: “Those were both lies.”

He said the denials meant the child had to give evidence, when she was questioned and cross-examined in a video-recorded hearing ahead of the trial.

The judge said: “I’m not surprised that she fails to regard that position as demonstrating any remorse.

Judge Cummings jailed Torralba for 13 years and nine months.

He made an indefinite restraining order to protect the victim and said Torralba must sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.