Dean Martin, aged 21, of Ballyclough Avenue, Ballinacurra West, yesterday pleaded not guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to breaking into the woman’s house, with sexually assaulting her, and with assault causing harm.
Judge Carroll Moran told a jury of nine men and three women that the trial is expected to last two to three days.
The woman, who cannot be named, said she was at home alone on the night of Sept 1/2, 2011, lying on a sitting room couch, watching Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV.
She spoke by phone to her partner, who was out at a social club, and she had one can of cider. Her partner, who did not live with her, told her he would call to the hose later. At this point, she felt a hand coming over her face and she dropped the phone.
She struggled with a man and during the struggle, the hoodie her attacker was wearing came down, revealing his face. He had his pants pulled down and then moved his hand from over her face. She was wearing a skirt and he put his hand between her thighs trying to push open her legs, she told the court.
Following the phone conversation with her partner, she knew he would be at the house shortly, as he told her he was getting a taxi.
When a knock came at the door, her attacker, who by then was on top of her, pulled up his pants and ran.
The woman identified Martin in court as the man who attacked her. Following the attack, she was treated by a doctor for bruises to her thighs and arms
In cross-examination, the woman agreed with defence counsel Mark Nicholas that she did not say anything to the gardaí on the night about a man having his pants down and putting his hands between her legs.
The woman’s partner said that, after getting a cab from a sports club, he got to the house shortly after 12am. He heard sounds resembling a struggle and his partner was shouting and screaming. He knocked several times again and he heard his partner roar his name.
The door then opened and a man ran past him with a hoodie up. He tried to grab this man, who vaulted a wall and ran off. His partner was hysterical, the man told the court.