Woman in rape case denies she 'resented' aunt

A Donegal woman has denied at the Central Criminal Court that she falsely claimed her uncle-in-law raped and sexually assaulted her because she resented his wife, her aunt.

The 27-year-old woman denied a suggestion by defence counsel Mr John O'Kelly SC that she was a rebellious child and that she didn't appreciate her aunt and uncle-in-law intervening in her family life.

"I suggest to you that you saw the perfect opportunity to become a victim overnight and you pointed the finger at my client," Mr O'Kelly (with Mr Kerida Naidoo BL) said.

In reply to a further suggestion by Mr O'Kelly that she resented her aunt and the accused's family because they were "better off" than her family, the complainant replied: "She beat me up when I was 14 years old and told me to stay away from her husband" after she added that her father had always been "a good earner".

Mr O'Kelly said that the accused's wife was not a violent person.

"Why would I sit here in this court 11 years later? Why would I be here if it wasn't true," she asked Mr O'Kelly, who replied: "The only reason you are here is to justify your actions at the time."

The complainant also rejected a further suggestion from Mr O'Kelly that her allegation that she had been forced to perform oral sex on the accused was also "a fabrication, a nice detail added in".

The 50-year-old accused has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of rape and 22 charges of sexual assault on dates between April 1, 1993 and June 15, 1996 when she was aged between 11 and 15 years old.

Mr O'Kelly told the complainant that a gynaecologist report from January 1998 stated that there had been "nothing to suggest whether she had been sexually active or not", yet, counsel said, she had alleged she was subjected to "violent sexual intercourse once per week as a 12 and 13 year old girl".

She replied that she had never been examined and that she had only had scans. She said she had only met that particular doctor a few years ago but accepted that another doctor could have dealt with her and he might have been her consultant.

She didn't accept that the accused and his family would not be in their home on Sunday mornings at the time she has alleged he would repeatedly rape her, because they were staying over with their grandmother.

"They stopped staying over in their grandmother's when my cousin was 10 years old," the complainant replied after she had previously testified that the abuse started after she attended her cousin's 11th birthday party.

She didn't accept a suggestion from Mr O'Kelly that she was now saying that for the first time because she had found herself caught out "on an essential fact."

She denied she had told her parents she had been staying with the accused's family when in fact she had been staying over with friends.

She agreed with Mr O'Kelly that her mother had never thrown her out of the house nor insisted that she stayed with the accused's family every weekend and she accepted that she had not been particularly close to his family before the birthday party.

When asked by Mr O'Kelly why she had not just refused to go to their house after she had been abused for the "first, second and fifth time", the complainant replied: "I was an 11-year-old child and I thought if I said I didn't want to go I would be questioned. I thought I could not say anything to anyone because they would not believe me."

She agreed with Mr O'Kelly that she was shocked when the abuse had changed from touching to rape "all of a sudden".

She disagreed with him that "at this stage when this happened again the next weekend, the next weekend and the next weekend it would have been very easy to say 'no, I would be prefer to stay at home'."

"It just wasn't that easy to say it," the complainant replied. She didn't accept that she was not in a position to give more detail than "it always happened on a Sunday morning".

"I was 16 years old when I made a statement to the gardaí and I did not have the vocabulary to put it into words."

The trial continues before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne and a jury of seven women and five men.

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