Cork trial told accused searched for information on rape kits online

Man says sex was consensual
Cork trial told accused searched for information on rape kits online

The 28-year-old defendant, who was 25 at the time of the alleged incident, pleaded not guilty to the single count on the indictment of raping a woman on August 27, 2017. Picture: iStock

A young man accused of an early-hours rape of a 17-year-old girl commencing as she slept said he was sitting at the side of the bed chatting to her when she squeezed his hand and they began to have consensual sex.

The disputed incident occurred at around 5am and later that afternoon, when he became aware she was making a complaint of rape, he made internet searches asking, “How long does rape kits take to get results?” 

Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford asked him today at the Central Criminal Court in Cork why he made a search like that. The accused said: “I did those searches to get a grasp of what was coming my way, to see what I am dealing with.” 

“Within 15 or 20 minutes you were looking for a solicitor,” Ms Lankford said. He replied, “Internet searches told me. It wouldn’t have entered my mind otherwise. 

I was stressed, anxious, shocked at this allegation being put at me. 

"I knew there was consent,” he said.

The 28-year-old defendant, who was 25 at the time of the alleged incident, pleaded not guilty to the single count on the indictment of raping a woman on August 27, 2017.

Other internet searches the defendant made that afternoon, on hearing the complainant had gone to the garda station alleging rape, carried the words, “Rape kit accuracy”, “Girl saying she was raped. Boy convicted” and “Girl rape drunk”.

In the early hours of that morning, the defendant said he and his girlfriend brought the complainant and her parents and some others back to their apartment after a social night together. 

The complainant’s parents went home at around 4am and the complainant later went to bed in a spare room. She testified that she woke to find the defendant with his penis in her vagina.

The accused said he went into her room to use the en suite toilet, wearing T-shirt and boxers. He said she was awake and he sat on the side of the bed chatting.

“As I was leaning on the bed her hand came to my hand and squeezed it. She pulled my hand towards her. Her other hand came up to my face, we were kissing. She was touching my penis outside my boxers. I was touching her private area outside her jeans,” he said.

The defendant testified that they both pulled down her jeans and she unclasped a bodysuit and they had consensual sexual intercourse. He said he asked her was she on the pill and she said she was.

He said that later when he left the room to go back to bed with his girlfriend he told the 17-year-old (who is related to his girlfriend) that: “You cannot tell anyone.” 

He added: 

I said that because it was wrong that we did.

He said he did not want to ruin the relationship with his girlfriend. “I love (girlfriend’s name),” he said today.

He said later that day the complainant asked him to drive her home a distance he described as a walk of “10 or 15 minutes tops,” and that she asked him to stop on the way to get Lucozade in a shop.

He stopped at a fast-food outlet to bring food back to his girlfriend. Later in the afternoon he heard through his girlfriend that the complainant was saying he had raped her.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

 

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