Ryan Hope Trial Day 1: Weymouth councillor accused of sex offences

ACCUSED: Weymouth councillor Ryan Hope denies all charges

ACCUSED: Weymouth councillor Ryan Hope denies all charges

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN ALLEGED victim claims a Weymouth councillor raped and sexually assaulted him several times during his childhood.

Ryan Hope, 22, is facing nine charges - including multiple accusations of rape and sexual assault of a child under 13.

He appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for the first day of the trial yesterday. Hope denies all the allegations.

The nine charges relate to a single victim who is now 18 years old and cannot be named for legal reasons.

He is facing two counts of rape of a child under 13, one of which relates to multiple incidents, two counts of rape, one of which also relates to multiple incidents, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and three counts of sexual assault.

The allegations span during a time frame between October 17, 2004 and early in 2011.

Prosecuting, Mary Aspinall-Miles told the court the victim had not come forward before as he feared that no one would believe him.

She also told the court of his worries about making such claims about a Weymouth councillor.

The jury was shown video interviews taken of the alleged victim and a police officer, on two separate occasions.

In the video the alleged victim said: "I was too scared to tell anyone."

He added that he thought people might think his claims were 'stupid'.

The jury heard the alleged victim speak of multiple alleged incidents with Hope, which he said spanned a number of years.

He told the officer that Hope had made him do 'sexual things' during his childhood and on one occasion had forced him to lie 'face down' before assaulting him.

In a second police interview video, the victim claimed Hope had previously tried to 'bribe him' with money to carry out sexual acts.

Judge Samuel Wiggs told the jury: "Ryan Hope was a Lib Dem councillor representing a Weymouth ward named Westham and is now an independent councillor for that same ward."

Hope is being represented by Mark Ruffell.

The alleged victim was due to give evidence today.

The trial continues.

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