‘She took advantage of me,’ says man accused of rape in laneway

The man accused of raping a young woman on a laneway in Cork City told investigating gardaí: “I did not take advantage of her, she took advantage of me.”

‘She took advantage of me,’ says man accused of rape in laneway

The man accused of raping a young woman on a laneway in Cork City told investigating gardaí: “I did not take advantage of her, she took advantage of me.”

In written memos of the interviews of the accused, with the assistance of an interpreter, it was put to the defendant by a garda that the complainant was drunk and it was obvious to anyone she was drunk.

He replied: “She wanted to have sex with me. I did not told [sic] her I wanted sex with her.”

He did not accept the proposition that he took advantage of her and said she seemed to know what she was doing. The guard referred to a woman living in an apartment overlooking the lane who described the complainant as very drunk from her vantage point.

He replied: “I believe she wanted to have sex with me even if she was not 100% aware. Even if she was 50% aware, she knew what she was doing.”

Later, the guard said: “The woman [in the overhead apartment] heard her screaming.”

The defendant replied: “It is not true. She was making sexual noises. She was enjoying it… I thought she was a prostitute. Only a prostitute would put my penis in her mouth.”

An interviewing garda suggested: “I think you saw this girl knowing there is something wrong with her and you shepherd her down this lane for sex in the lane with her, knowing she is very drunk.”

He replied: “She told me she likes me and wants sex with me.”

The guard said the young woman, aged around 20, did not know what she wanted because she did not know what was happening.

The defendant said: “If you believe I did wrong to her I would like to apologise… I would tell her it did not happen the way she thought it happened. Maybe I did wrong in a way.”

He said they had sex and then he wanted to go away to get some sleep.

He said: “She wanted more.”

The defendant refuted the allegation that he followed her and said he just said: “Are you OK?” as he passed her on the street.

Asked if he had seen lots of girls drunk on their own in Cork City when he was out at night, the defendant replied: “Lots of them sit there with legs wide open. If I wanted to rape one of them I could have.

“I did not come here to do bad things. Just to make an honest living… I just came here for a decent life for me and to bring my family.”

Defence barrister, Paul Christopher, went through the memo of interviews with Sergeant John O’Connell and corrected some of the noted responses against the interviews themselves, which were recorded on video camera.

Referring to when the defendant met the young woman, he said the defendant is heard on video saying: “I said: ‘Are you OK?’ She said: ‘OK’ and put her arm around me. Then you know the rest.”

Mr Christopher said the defendant also said: “It was obvious to me she was obviously enjoying it… She wanted more. She was saying something like ‘stay’ but I could not understand fully.”

Mr Christopher also said the defendant said to gardaí: “She was sober enough to know what she was doing.”

The defendant, who is aged in his 20s, denies two counts of raping the young woman on February 17, 2017 in a laneway in Cork City, once by having sexual intercourse with her and once by putting his penis in her mouth.

The case goes into its sixth day today at the Central Criminal Court before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and a jury which comprises of eight men and four women.

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