A 37-year-old man has been convicted of rape after a woman was assaulted at Delapre Park in Northampton.
Ion Cojan, previously of Northampton, had placed an advertisement online for a room in his home that was available to rent.
A woman in need of a room contacted him and they arranged to meet on February 17, 2019, in Northampton town centre.
She agreed to go for a coffee with him however instead of driving to a café, Cojan drove to Delapre Park, where he parked up near the lake in Ransome Road and proceeded to rape the woman in the back of his vehicle before driving her back to the town centre.
The survivor of this crime bravely reported what had happened to Northamptonshire Police and an investigation was launched.
Multiple lines of enquiry were followed including speaking to potential witnesses, forensics, reviewing the profile on the room rental website, and checking CCTV and ANPR cameras.
The investigation led to Cojan being identified as the suspect and he was arrested and charged with rape. Following a trial at Northampton Crown Court, he was found guilty last week (September 21) and will be sentenced on October 25, 2022.
Lead Investigator, Detective Constable David Burrage, said: “I am really pleased that Ion Cojan has been found guilty of this awful offence and I want to commend the survivor in this case for her incredible bravery.
“We never underestimate how much courage it takes to report a sexual offence to the police but this woman has supported our investigation from start to finish, a process which has been lengthy and I am sure, very demanding on her.
“I hope the conclusion of this trial and the guilty verdict provides her with some sense of comfort and the knowledge that her report has ensured a rapist is now behind bars and unable to harm anyone else.”
Detective Inspector Liz Basham, said: “This case involved teams and departments from across the Force working together to locate Ion Cojan and bring him to justice. As the lead investigator, DC Burrage has done a brilliant job in moving this case forward, ending in a guilty verdict in the court room.
“Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for Northamptonshire Police and I hope this case shows that we take these cases extremely seriously and will do everything in our power to put the offenders behind bars.”
Northamptonshire Police takes reports of sexual assault extremely seriously and we will treat all calls and reports with the sensitivity and confidentiality that they deserve.
We will believe you, we will support you, and we will do all we can to make sure those responsible pay for their crimes.
If you are not yet ready to speak to the police, please visit www.voicenorthants.org or call Voice on 0300 303 1965.
Serenity provides 24-hour treatment, advice and support, including examination, or anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. The discreet and confidential service will work with you to support your choices. For urgent support and advice call 01604 601713 any time, any day or visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/serenity
*This press release and custody image have been released with the support and agreement of the survivor*