Woman accused of making false rape allegation

A 26-year-old woman is on trial at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court accused of knowingly making a false report of being raped by a foreign national in a Killarney car park.

It will be alleged that at around 4am on September 22, 2014, after the 2014 All-Ireland final in which Kerry were playing, Jacinta O’Connor went to the garda station in Killarney and claimed she was raped by a “foreign national”, Tom Rice, prosecuting, outlined to the jury.

Ms O’Connor, of Steelroe, Killorglin, Co Kerry, denies that she knowingly made a false report that an offence had been committed and had wasted garda time.

Mr Rice said Ms O’Connor claimed she was raped by a foreign national “unknown to her”. An investigation was conducted, CCTV footage collected, and it was decided the complaint was false.

“It will be suggested that the accused had had consensual sexual relations with someone known to her from Ireland and that she was not raped,” Mr Rice said.

Sergeant John O’Gorman, the garda in charge on the night said Ms O’Connor was “somewhat dishevelled” — “her hair was ruffled and there was concrete-coloured dust on her exposed arms and on her thighs and lower legs. She was dressed in a black dress and white cardigan. I felt she was calm. I felt she might have been in shock and maybe a little bit detached,” He felt she was sober, the garda said.

There was no female garda on duty and a female colleague from Cahersiveen, an hour away, was sent for.

Ms O’Connor told him she had been socialising in the Grand Hotel nightclub in Killarney. She said she left at 2am and was attacked five to 10 minutes later. She described a “tanned gentleman” with his green hood down and no facial hair, short and fat, who had “a brown complexion, like a Pakistani person”.

She described how her clothes had been “pulled off her” and a vaginal rape had taken place and then an attempted anal rape. The sergeant went to the scene and recovered a bra. At 6am, she travelled with gardaí to the alleged scene. Later she was brought to the sexual assault unit at the South Infirmary in Cork for examination.

On October 10, after being shown still CCTV images of a gentleman with a receding hairline who had not been mentioned by Ms O’Connor, she said she wished to make an alternative statement and withdrew her complaint, the sergeant said.

Under cross-examination by Liz Murphy, defending, Sgt O’Gorman said as the CCTV stills were shown to her on October 10, her demeanour began to change. It was possible things came back into her memory.

The trial continues.


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