July 2008

Former youth worker jailed for child rape

A FORMER coastguard and youth club worker has been jailed for more than 12 years for the rape and sexual abuse of three young girls.

At Exeter Crown Court 62-year-old pillar of the local community, Cyril Fascione, was told by Judge Paul Darlow that offences he had committed represented breaches of trust.

And by having a trial he had subjected his victims to the ordeals of having to come to court to give evidence and relive their dreadful experiences.

Fascione, who was convicted on two charges of rape, one of indecent assault and two of sexual touching after an earlier trial at Plymouth Crown Court, was not in the dock when he was sentenced today.

The court heard he suffered from travel sickness and had refused to come to court in the Reliance security van.

Judge Darlow said because Fascione was not in court of his own volition he would sentence in his absence.

During the trial the jury heard that Fascione had managed to keep his dark secrets of the rapes which involved a 13-year-old girl back in the 1970s by making threats to her that she would be taken into care if she exposed him.

At the time Fascione, who had been a coastguard, was working in a village in South Devon as a builder and boasted he could have any girl he wanted because he was ‘better looking than Arnold Schwarzenegger’.

Fascione’s sex attacks on her had left a permanent psychological impact, which after 30 years continued to be ‘very significant’.

The court heard that on one occasion after the indecent assault Fascione had stopped his car next to the girl as she walked down the street, winding down his window and just staring at her.

He told her he knew where she lived and that was an obvious threat to her.

The catalogue of offences came to light after Fascione returned to his deviant behaviour with another victim in 2006. The girl complained to police.

Det Con Steve Pengilly, the officer in the case, said her complaints led officers to open a wider investigation which led to the uncovering of the two rapes of one girl in 1976 and the indecent assault on a second in 1978.

Mitigating Adam Vaitilingam said Fascione was in poor health which would make any prison sentence more onerous for him.

Passing sentence Judge Darlow said: “The defendant was convicted after a full trial of the five offences.

“Because of that I cannot give him the credit I would have done if he had acknowledged his responsibility earlier and saved the victims the distress of having to give evidence and relive their experiences.

“All the offences were committed against young girls. One of the rapes was accompanied with a specific threat not to tell anyone or she would be taken into care.

“That was a very real threat and had a psychological impact on her subsequent life and that continues to be very significant.

“The allegation of indecent assault was against a 12-year-old who was groped. She described being in a car with Fascione.

“ When he failed to turn off towards the family home she knew he was not going to let her out of the vehicle and was extremely fearful.

“The latest offences involved the defendant putting his hand down a girl’s trousers and asking her to show him her breasts.

“She was a solitary and vulnerable young girl and Fascione disregarded that.”

Fascione of Marlborough Park, Kingsbridge was given 10 years for the two rapes, 18 months consecutive for the indecent assault and 40 weeks consecutive for the sexual touching, making a total of 12 years and nine months.

He was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and banned from working with children for life.

After the sentencing hearing Det Con Pengilly said of the case: “Justice has now been done.”