Harpenden rapist faces psychiatric reports

PSYCHIATRIC reports are to be prepared on a Harpenden man convicted of having sex with two 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 that 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 this year a jury had been unable to agree its verdict on a charge that Abernethy-Cortez had raped the 15-year-old girl.

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.

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Mr Barry said Abernethy-Cortez had the support of his adoptive father who was in court and had sent the judge a reference. “His father says he had learnt his lesson. He behaved in a disgraceful and predominately immature way and manipulated relationships.”

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