A man has gone on trial on a sexual assault charge arising out of an alleged 10-second attack on a woman who left her friends in a nightclub in Cork City as she felt unwell.
The defendant, Viorel Postolache, an Italian who was living at a flat at Barrack St, Cork, was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday and he pleaded not guilty.
A jury of 11 men and one woman was sworn in to hear the case before Judge David Riordan.
The complainant said it felt like the alleged assault went on for a long time, but she accepted it only went on for seconds.
She was on an antibiotic at the time and did not feel well enough to stay at the club so she walked to her car at Crosse’s Green Quay.
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, put it to the complainant that it was a quiet night and that two people on the balcony of nearby apartments would testify that they did not hear or see anything suspicious.
He suggested that if she had screamed at the top of her voice at her attacker, surely it would have been heard by them.
Mr O’Sullivan also said there was no DNA of the accused on the complainant and no fibres from her clothes found on him or on his clothes.
As for the DNA, she said: “He touched me with his hands I would expect there to be.” Mr O’Sullivan said there could be DNA from skin contact.
He also said that the runners described by the complainant were not the runners seen on him in CCTV from the surrounding area and he asked the complainant to explain this divergence.
“I am sure his runners were not that important to me at the time,” she said.
“Are you sure about your recollection?” Mr O’Sullivan asked. She replied, “Yes.” He asked again, “Absolutely certain?” and she replied: “Yes.”
Jane Hyland, prosecuting, opened the case and gave the judge and jury an outline of the evidence which she anticipated would be given by witnesses for the prosecution.
Ms Hyland said: “He ran behind her, grabbed her skirt and lifted it over her waist. He grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her around back against her car, holding her with his shoulder.
“He put his two hands between her legs. He had a hand on each of her thighs while holding her against the car. Her panties were on. He rubbed her vagina and her bottom with his hands for a couple of seconds.
“She started to scream, she screamed and she kicked and she shouted. When she did that, he stopped and ran back in the direction from which he had come.
“She got into her car, locked the doors of her car, she tried to drive her car, she contacted friends in the nightclub, she rang her parents. They brought her almost immediately to the Bridewell Garda Station.”
Ms Hyland said CCTV did not show the alleged incident but it did show the young woman walking around a corner, the defendant walking around a few seconds later and then running back 23 seconds later.
The case continues today.
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