Man accused of raping pal says he was ‘sleepwalking’

A man accused of raping a friend eight years ago told gardaí he was “sleepwalking” and wasn’t aware of what he was doing, a trial has heard.

Man accused of raping pal says he was ‘sleepwalking’

The question of whether the man was sleepwalking or not will be central to the case, the jury was told on the first day of the trial yesterday at the Central Criminal Court.

The man, 29, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to one count of raping the woman at an apartment in Dublin on September 28, 2008.

He is alleged to have later admitted to the woman that he raped her. She told the trial he told her that he had touched a friend’s girlfriend and kissed the woman’s sister while sleepwalking in the past.

Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, told the jury of eight men and four women that the man, then 21, and the woman, then 22, were platonic former university friends who travelled to Dublin to attend an event.

After the night out, the pair originally thought they would be sleeping on the floor of their friends’ apartment, but instead shared a bed in a free bedroom. The woman was fully-dressed, while the man was wearing boxer shorts and a T-shirt, Mr McGrath said.

“She fell asleep and the next thing she will indicate is that she woke up and found the accused on top of her with his penis in her,” Mr McGrath said. “She told him to stop.” The woman’s pencil skirt had been pushed up and her underwear had been pushed to one side, the court heard. She left the bedroom and went to the bathroom.

Mr McGrath said the accused was interviewed by gardaí the following year, during which he said he had no memory of what happened and only a “vague memory” of being asked about a condom, Mr McGrath said. “[You will hear] the accused say in interview in broad terms that he has no recollection, that he was effectively sleep-walking, experiencing some form of sleepwalking, that he wasn’t doing anything consciously,” he said.

The woman took the stand and cried as she told the trial she fell asleep before waking up because “something felt really wrong and disgusting”.

She said the man’s penis was inside her and he “just kept thrusting”. “I said, ‘What are you doing? Stop. Do you even have a condom on?’” she said, to which he replied, “Oh no, but to be honest I’m a long way from that anyway.”

She said he was still inside her and was saying she could get the morning after pill, at which point she pushed him off her. She said he then said to her: “I’m sorry.”

The trial continues before Justice Patrick McCarthy.

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