Man who preyed on young women is convicted of sexual assaults
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An 80-year-old man who tried to dismiss his sexual assaults on young women as “friendliness” has rightly been found guilty of his crimes.
Angelo De Chiara, 80, of Kettering Road, Northampton, preyed on the young women in public places with two incidents happening in 2018 and one in 2019.
During the first incident in June 2018, De Chiara approached an 18-year-old girl on a bus. Despite the entire bus being free, he decided to sit next to the girl, touching her knee and making her feel uncomfortable. When she moved away, he moved closer and when she got off the bus, he followed her, grabbing her hand and asking her if she would come to his house. The girl eventually ran away from him and called police.
In the second incident a couple of weeks later, De Chiara approached a woman walking her dog near the Racecourse in Northampton. He placed his hands on her shoulders and kissed her on both cheeks. He then proceeded to walk shoulder to shoulder with her before she ran across a busy road to escape him.
In the final incident in March 2019, De Chiara approached a young woman in a Grosvenor Centre lift, invading her personal space and leaning over her before proceeding to kiss her on the cheek.
De Chiara was identified through a police investigation and later charged with three counts of sexual assault. Despite pleading not guilty at Northampton Crown Court and trying to dismiss his behavior as “friendliness”, the jury rightly convicted him of all three charges.
In laying out the case, the Prosecution Barrister – Mr Ben Gow, told the court that De Chiara’s actions were in the context of being “sexually motivated” and that he had targeted these women because they were “young, alone and vulnerable”. It was also made plainly clear the lasting impact De Chiara’s actions have had on these three young women who “froze” during his assaults and have felt vulnerable and scared since.
Lead Investigator, DC Jason Gregory, said: “Firstly, I would like to commend the victims in this case for coming forward and reporting this wholly inappropriate behaviour to us so we could investigate it and bring De Chiara to justice.
“The bravery they have shown in attending court and being made to relive these experiences has been exceptional as all three are still affected by these incidents to this day.
“De Chiara falsely believed that we live in a world where the excuse of “friendliness” could be used to disguise his sexual motivations and his creepy and wholly inappropriate behaviour.
“However, there is no excuse for invading someone’s personal space in such a brazen manner and without the consent any of these victims. De Chiara’s actions were wholly inappropriate and have led to these young females experiencing fear in a situation through no fault of their own.
“These were women who were simply going about their normal daily routine such as walking a dog, sitting on a bus to work or travelling back from a nice shopping trip. All public places where they should have felt safe. It is heartening that they trusted us to prove this fact in court and achieve three convictions of sexual assault.
“I hope the verdict passed by the jury, along with the strong prosecution case by Mr Gow and the dedicated police investigation will provide some confidence that victims of sexual abuse in any form will be listened to, and that these type of incidents are simply not acceptable.”
De Chiara will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on April 30, 2021.