A Cork man accused of raping and sexually assaulting his sister has told the Central Criminal Court today: “I’m not a monster, I’m not a rapist, I’m not a child abuser”.
The man has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of his sister between February 1995 and August 2001.
The woman, who is eight years younger than the accused, claims her brother assaulted her on numerous occasions in the family home, in his car and in an ambulance.
Today, the accused told the court he had never had any inappropriate contact of any form with his sister.
Cross-examined by Tim O’Leary SC for the prosecution, he denied he had sexually assaulted his sister at home while on a lunch break from work.
The accused said that for more than a year of his employment he ate lunch at work and only started coming home when he bought his first car in 1998.
He said he came home on days when his mother had arranged to have a meal ready for him, as he only had a 30-minute break.
He told the court: “This has brought great shame on my family, I don’t want my name dragged through the mud but I still gave permission to gardaí to speak to (my employers) to inquire about the hours I clocked in and clocked out”.
He told Mr O’Leary he never came home for lunch when he knew his mother wasn’t there, saying: “Don’t try to portray me to be someone I’m not. I’m not a monster, I’m not a rapist, I’m not a child abuser”.
The accused agreed there was a temporary breakdown in his relationship with his sister after she allegedly put his child in a wheelie bin.
However, he said he had continued to have contact with her because “family is family and families fall out but issues can be resolved”.
The young woman had previously given evidence that the alleged abuse had ceased when she was about 14 years old, following an alleged incident in the accused’s car during which she threatened to report him to gardaí.
However, she said she had continued to have contact with her brother because she felt she had to pretend that everything was normal.
Today the accused told the court: “It’s being portrayed that basically she had no contact with me after 2001. I’m showing that she did have contact with me of her own free will and had no problem with it”.
He said he had given his sister driving lessons and that she had joined him during a family holiday and also on a long journey to a wedding, even though she could have travelled with other family members.
The court also heard from the accused’s partner who gave evidence of receiving a letter from the young woman in 2008.
The witness told the court: “It was a typed letter. She opened by saying (the accused) sexually assaulted her from the age of eight to 14. In the letter she said if I walked away from (the accused) she would not go to the gardaí.”
The witness said she believed the letter was “a matter of control” for the young woman.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of seven men and five women.