Middlesbrough man jailed for sexual assault of teenager

Dwayne Anthony Rhoden, 34, from Union Street, Middlesbrough, was sentenced at York Crown Court on Wednesday (April 17), with detectives praising the teenage girl who showed courage to report Rhoden’s crimes.

Following a trial in January, Rhoden was found guilty of nine offences including five counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault, and false imprisonment.

He pleaded guilty to a tenth offence of failing to comply with change of address notifications as a Registered Sex Offender.

As well as the prison sentence which includes an extended three years on licence, Rhoden was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The Northern Echo: Dwayne Anthony RhodenDwayne Anthony Rhoden (Image: NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE)

The court heard that the incident happened at an address in Whitby in August 2023, which saw police receive a 999 call from a friend of the victim – reporting that a man had sexually assaulted her friend.

The girl was then put on the phone and she gave the first account of her terrifying ordeal to the Force Control Room.

An investigation was launched led by Detective Constable Matthew Edwards from the Scarborough and Ryedale Safeguarding Investigation Team.

He was able to establish that Rhoden had lured the teenager to a bedsit he was staying in after meeting her in town around 30 minutes before.

The teenager was eventually able to leave the address after about an hour. She contacted friends who helped her to alert the police.

Rhoden was arrested at the bedsit at 2.42am and was taken into custody for questioning.

He was subsequently charged with the ten offences.

DC Edwards said: “As soon as she went into the room he was renting, she was physically attacked. He grabbed her by the back of the neck, forced her onto a bed and overpowered her.

“Rhoden subjected her to a terrifyingly violent, sadistic and sustained sexual attack.

“He would not listen to her repeated calls to get off her and to let her go. He would not allow her to leave the property.

“Rhoden was clearly taking pleasure in her extreme pain and distress.

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“She said he threatened to kill her, and she genuinely feared she would die at the hands of Rhoden.”

DC Edwards added: “Not only did Rhoden subject the victim to the attack itself he also made her re-live the traumatic events all over again at court.

“He lied throughout the investigation and then the trial. His pathetic performance was unable to convince the jury who rightly convicted him of all the offences.

“The significant prison sentence handed to him by the Judge shows the severity of the crimes Rhoden committed against the brave victim.

“I have nothing but praise and admiration for the courage she has displayed in securing justice. Right from reporting the incident to the conclusion of the court proceedings.

“Together with a determined and sensitive investigation, she proved that abhorrent offenders like Rhoden cannot get away with attacking women and girls with impunity.

“I hope she can draw strength from the outcome at court and start to rebuild her life with support from her loving family and friends.”

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