Fake taxi rape men face jail after New Year attack in Fife

Raul Novac. Picture: Contributed/Police Scotland
Raul Novac. Picture: Contributed/Police Scotland
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Two men have been convicted of raping a teenager after New Year celebrations in Kirkcaldy.

The 18-year-old woman had left a nightclub in the early hours of January 1, 2017 when she got into a vehicle she believed to be a taxi and asked to be taken home.

Abel Muntean. Picture: Police Scotland

Abel Muntean. Picture: Police Scotland

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Instead of telling her the car was not a taxi, the driver, 19-year-old Abel Muntean, abducted the woman and took her to an address in the town, occupied by a second man, 34-year-old Raul Covaci Novac. She was unable to leave this property for 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.

On Monday, 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. Muntean also admitted failing to attend court proceedings earlier in the case.

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

Detective Sergeant Calum Lawrie 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."