Man goes on trial accused of raping young woman in Cork laneway

Man goes on trial accused of raping young woman in Cork laneway

A young man has gone on trial accused of raping a young woman in a laneway in Cork city in a case where she gave investigating gardaí different accounts of having sex with one, two and three men.

She told one guard she did not want to do it but did not ask them to stop.

The defendant who is in his 20s denies two counts of raping the young woman on February 17, 2017 in a laneway in Cork city, once by having sexual intercourse with her and once by putting his penis in her mouth.

A jury of four women and eight men was sworn in to hear the case before Mr Justice Alexander Owens at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

Tim O’Leary prosecution senior counsel said the young woman, who was 20 at the time, was receiving treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and went out that night with friends. He said the prosecution would say that “She blacked out. She basically had no memory and when she did start remembering or coming to her senses the guards had arrived.”

A woman living in an apartment over the lane woke to the sound of screaming and she contacted the gardaí. She said: “There is always screaming and shouting going on in the laneway… but it felt someone was in danger or afraid. It was not normal. It was someone screaming and shouting and it was like someone wanted someone to help them.”

She saw a man lighting a cigarette, putting up his hood and walking away. She described the woman in a state of undress and stumbling.

The complainant testified that she was prescribed anti-depressants and took six tablets that evening. She also said she had about three quarters of a double naggin of vodka in a pre-drinks gathering and that she did not know how many more drinks during the night out. She said she was drunk and remembered dancing with friends between 11.30pm and midnight but after that she could not remember what happened.

She said to gardaí who asked her what happened, “that I could not remember but I thought something of a sexual nature happened to me because I could feel pain...”. She also had bruising to her left breast and grazing of her knees. Garda Linda O’Keeffe arrived at the scene and said the young woman was semi-clothed, very incoherent, had a strong smell of alcohol and appeared distressed. The young woman did not realise Garda O’Keeffe was a guard even though she had a high-visibility garda jacket and uniform.

“She told me she had sex with a male down the lane and he just walked off. She was extremely intoxicated and did not make much sense. She said she met with a male or possibly three males..(Her account) varied from three of them having sex with her,” Garda O’Keeffe said.

Asked if the complainant was aware that her account kept changing from one male having sex with her to two men and three men, Garda O’Keeffe said the young woman was not aware of her account changing.

“She said she did not want to have sex but never specified… She was quite adamant there was a male laughing at her during the intercourse,” Garda O’Keeffe said.

Garda Paula Twiss said the young woman alleged, “At some stage she met three males. They had started talking to her. They invited her down the laneway… She went down the laneway with three males. She said she had sex with either two or three of the males… She did not want to do it but she did not ask them to stop.”

The trial continues tomorrow.

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