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(THE SUN – UK) — A brutal rapist who attacked a teenager while she chatted to her boyfriend on FaceTime was caught thanks to him taking screengrabs of the attack.
Samuel Fortes, 27, followed the 19-year-old victim through the England city of Leeds before dragging her under an overpass and raping her during a 15-minute attack.
Although horrified by what he was seeing, the victim’s boyfriend took a screenshot of Fortes stamping on the girl – which was later used by police as evidence.
He called the police and his girlfriend was found a short time after at the scene of the attack, battered and bruised and naked from the waist down.
The victim’s heartbroken dad later said: “It is like you have been growing and protecting a flower for 19 years and all of a sudden somebody just comes and stomps on it.”
The student was returning from a night out with friends when Fortes, who had been lurking in Leeds city centre, spotted her at 3:15 a.m.
He walked alongside the teenager and asked her for her number.
She politely refused and tried to walk off, still chatting to her boyfriend on the mobile phone app.
As she was about to cross a footbridge to walk home, Fortes grabbed her from behind, Leeds Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor David Gordon said: “The victim struggled and told Fortes to get off her.
“He was smirking and she asked him why. His reply was to punch her in the face six times.”
He dragged her from the footbridge to underneath an overpass where she was savagely attacked.
Most of her clothes were ripped off. She suffered a fracture to her face, a broken tooth and extensive swelling to her face and body.
PUNCHED HER SIX TIMES IN THE FACE
The victim feared she was going to die but Fortes was disturbed when three passers-by on the footbridge found her handbag, phone and keys.
They went to look for the victim and found Fortes attacking her. Fortes fled and police were called.
One officer said: “I was also shocked by the injuries to her face. They were some of the worst I have seen in my 11 years of service.”
Fortes spent an hour hiding behind a bush before fleeing back to his home city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
But he was caught after a painstaking forensic examination of the scene revealed a single piece of hair which was linked to his DNA.
CCTV also showed him wandering around Leeds city centre before the attack, following his victim, and catching a train afterwards.
He was arrested – with the teen’s blood still on his sneakers.
Fortes admitted rape and wounding with intent at Leeds Crown Court on Monday and on Thursday was jailed for life with a minimum of eight years to be served.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC described the victim’s statement as “the most remarkable I have ever encountered,” adding: “I salute her extraordinary courage.”
The victim, now 20, said in the statement read to the court: “I was and still am sickened by the thought that one human could do that to another. I thought I was going to die. It is a feeling that no words could ever describe.
The court heard Fortes, who came to the UK from Portugal in 2010, has previous convictions for domestic violence against an ex-partner in 2017.