A man accused of raping his sister in 1998 sent her a text in the past year stating: "I will always love you. XXXX," and the complainant replied: "And I will always love you. XXXX".
This was put before the jury at the trial presided over by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork yesterday.
Brendan Grehan, defending, was cross-examining the complainant and produced photographs showing the brother and sister sitting beside each other at his birthday celebration and at another family function.
“Did you get a cake made for him for his birthday this year?” Mr Grehan asked.
The complainant said her mother asked her about getting a cake and was willing to pay for half of it. “But she was stuck for money,” she said. “I paid for the cake.”
“Did you pose for photos with him?” Mr Grehan asked. The complainant replied: “I did. My mother said: ‘Can you not go for a picture with him?’ ”
Mr Grehan said that, after another family occasion less than a year ago, the accused sent his sister a text expressing his love for her and she replied with a similar text.
She said: “That was after his apology in my parents’ kitchen. He apologised to me for everything he put me through... I am extremely hurt and forever will be by what he did... I will never forgive him what he put me through.”
The witness cried in the witness box at that point. “But family is family at the end of the day,” she said.
Mr Grehan asked: “Did you say you would withdraw your complaint?”
The witness looked directly at the accused and said: “I never said that to him. Never.”
The accused has pleaded not guilty to rape. He also denies 41 sexual assault charges between January 1991 and August 2001 when she was aged between 9 and 20. The accused is now aged 37 and the complainant is 33.
While the number of sexual assaults on the indictment was 41, Mr Grehan said that, in effect, the complainant was alleging that, “100 to 150 times a year he would put his fingers inside you”. She replied: “Yes.”
Mr Grehan suggested it was unusual that, in the context of several hundred alleged sexual assaults, there was only one alleged rape.
She said her brother often asked her to perform oral sex on him but she never did.
A guidance counsellor teacher at the school attended by the complainant at the age of 16 told yesterday how she came to her attention as she was regarded as being at high risk because of alleged self-harm.
“She did not have a good relationship with her mother, who was no support for her,” said the counsellor. “She said she was afraid of her brother. She said he came into her room and touched her between her legs,” the teacher stated.
The case continues.
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