July 2017

“Dangerous” Harpenden rapist sentenced to 15 years

A “dangerous sexual predator” from Harpenden has been sentenced to 15 years after he raped three teenage girls.

Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, 24, of Bramble Close, twice raped a 14-year-old when he was 16. Then eight years later, in 2016, he raped a 17-year-old and 18-year-old in his bedroom.

On Friday (July 14) he was being sentenced for these four crimes after being convicted in May.

When he committed the two later offences he was already on licence and a registered sex offender, following a 2013 conviction for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in a car and assault by penetration of a 15-year-old girl.

At Luton crown court Judge Richard Foster, The Honorary Recorder for Luton, told him: “It seems to me you have been a serial sex offender since you were about 16 years of age.”

The judge went on: “I have no doubt you are a dangerous sexual predator.”

He said because of the risk of further offending Abernethy-Cortez posed, a “public protection sentence” was called for.

Judge Foster sentenced Abernethy-Cortez to an “extended” sentence of 15 years telling him that the custodial element was a 10 year jail term and a licence period of five years.

A month before the two 2016 crimes, Abernethy-Cortez had been released from prison for sex offences and was subject to a sexual offences prevention order.

At his trial in May prosecutor Abigail Husbands said: “The defendant targeted young naive women.”

Abernethy-Cortez denied all four charges of rape, but was found guilty by the jury.

Before he was sentenced, the court heard that in 2011 he had been convicted of taking a child in care and engaging in penetrative sexual activity with them.

Before being led from the court to begin his sentence Abernethy-Cortez was told he would have to serve two thirds of the 10 year jail term before he could be even considered for release by the parole board.

 

May 2017

Sex offender from Harpenden found guilty of raping teenage girls

A convicted sex offender from Harpenden was found guilty of raping three teenagers.

Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, 24, of Bramble Close, raped a 14-year-old twice, and also raped a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old.

He was placed on a sex offender programme for three years and ordered to register as a sex offender for five years in June 2013, after raping a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Appearing in Luton Crown Court on Friday, May 26, Abernethy-Cortez was charged with four more sex crimes. The first two offences were alleged to have taken place in 2008 or 2009 against a girl who was about 14, the third charge was in November 2016 and the fourth was in August or September 2016.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands said: “The defendant targeted young, naive women.”

She described how the 14-year-old girl jumped out of her bedroom window to meet the defendant, and protested when he started kissing her and then raped her. The jury was told that the girl met him again and he raped her for the second time. She went to the police in June last year.

Abernethy-Cortez carried the second victim upstairs to his bedroom and raped her, and drove the third victim, an 18-year-old, to his home before raping her.

When arrested Abernethy-Cortez, who pleaded not guilty to four charges of rape, said nothing sexual happened with the 14-year-old, the sex with the 17-year-old was consensual, and made no comment on the third teenager’s allegations.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Richard Foster, who asked probation officers to assess whether, in legal terms, Abernethy-Cortez is a dangerous offender.

Abernethy-Cortez will appear in court for sentencing on Friday, July 14.

June 2013

Harpenden man, Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, had sex with underage girls he met on Facebook

A Harpenden man convicted of having sex with two underage girls has been placed on a Sex Offender Programme for the next three years.

Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, 20, was found guilty of assault by penetration on a 15-year-old girl he met through Facebook in July 2010.

He was bailed after his arrest for that offence and in December of that year had sex with a 14 year old in a car. That led to his conviction for sexual activity with a child.

A jury was unable to agree its verdict on a charge that Abernethy-Cortez had raped the 15 year old girl and a retrial was set for the Old Bailey, but last year the prosecution decided not to proceed.

Abernethy-Cortez, of Bramble Close, Harpenden had been held in custody since mid 2011.

At an earlier hearing his barrister Denis Barry said the offences were carried out a “considerable time ago” when Abernethy-Cortez was much younger.

Judge Martin Griffith, who had adjourned sentence for the report from the Sex Offender Programme to be prepared, said Abernethy-Cortez had taken advantage of younger girls who needed to be protected.

He placed him under supervision for three years with three years on the Sex Offender Programme. He must register as a Sex Offender for five years.

December 2012

Psychiatric reports to be prepared on Harpenden man convicted of having sex with under-age girls

Psychiatric reports are to be prepared on a Harpenden man convicted of having sex with two under-age girls.

Oscar Abernethy-Cortez, 20, was found guilty of assault by penetration on a 15-year-old girl he met through Facebook in July 2010.

He was bailed after his arrest for that offence and in December of the same year, had sex with a 14-year-old in a car. That led to his conviction for sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutor George Heimler told St Albans Crown Court on Monday that in February, a jury had been unable to agree its verdict on a charge that Abernethy-Cortez had sex with the 15-year-old. A retrial had been set for the Old Bailey but the prosecution had decided not to proceed.

Abernethy-Cortez, of Bramble Close, Harpenden was brought back to St Albans Crown Court to be sentenced on Monday.

His barrister Denis Barry, said the offences were carried out a “considerable time ago” when Abernethy-Cortez was much younger. He said he had now spent 17 and a half months in custody with the offences themselves dating back to 2010.

Mr Barry said the defendant had the support of his adoptive father who was in court and had sent the judge a reference.

“His father says he had learned his lesson. He behaved in a disgraceful and predominately immature way and manipulated relationships.”

Judge Martin Griffith adjourned sentencing to February 15 for psychiatric reports and remanded Abertnethy-Cortez in custody. He said he had taken advantage of younger girls who needed to be protected.

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