Saturday 1 October 2016

Becoming a prostitute does not mean you could be 'treated like trash', rape trial told

Declan Brennan

Published 01/12/2015 | 17:24

Stock picture
Stock picture

Deciding to become a prostitute did not mean you could be “treated like trash”, the trial of a Kerry man charged with raping a sex worker has heard.

  • Go To

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told the jury of six men and six women, that the case was about control and the accused's attempts to exercise control at all times.

The man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to oral rape and sexual assault of the woman in a hotel room in Dublin city on March 28, 2010.

He also denied two counts of threatening or putting in fear a witness in a garda investigation on dates between April 29 and May 28, 2010. Both the accused and the complainant are legally entitled to anonymity.

The trial has heard that the woman was working as an escort or prostitute on the weekend and had come to Dublin to meet a number of men for sex. She advertised herself as a well educated former model on the Escorts Ireland website.

The accused man contacted her on this website and an arrangement was made for them to meet in the hotel room. The woman said that she had agreed to meet the man for a “girlfriend experience” service but that he became rough and forced her to perform oral sex on him while holding her by the hair.

She said this was never agreed to and that she did not consent to what happened and he did not pay her.

In his closing speech Mr Gillane said this wasn't an ordinary sexual engagement. He said the complainant had come to a point in her life where providing sexual services for money was what she had to do.

“This doesn't mean you become trash, to be treated like trash at the will of someone who wants to visit that on you. This is not the law in this country,” Mr Gillane said.

He said the proposition that the woman had made her allegations because she was “short changed” by the man was “a fantasy”, stating: “She's never asked this man for a red cent”.

Thomas Creed SC, defending, said that his client believed he was consenting and therefore it was not rape. He said there was no evidence to corroborate the woman's testimony that the man was aggressive and forceful.

He said: “It is not, as she describes, a violent encounter. It might have been a humiliating encounter but that does not mean it is not consensual.

“There was no threat of violence. It was never suggested that he said if you don't do as I'm telling you, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to beat you up.”

He said she was crying and shouting but nobody in the rest of the hotel heard this.

Mr Creed told the jury that when his client was contacted by email by the woman and later by Detective Garda Ronan Conway, he thought it might have been a scam to extort money.

Counsel said he didn't know the real identity of the escort who was making the allegations and he simply set about trying to find this out.

“She was an escort who is now alleging she was raped by him. He is a married man. She was aware of this. He was in a desperate situation.”

The trial heard that the woman received calls and texts from three different numbers but which all came from the one unique mobile phone handset. These texts referred to how the family and neighbours in her rural home town would be shocked to find out she was a prostitute.

“He believes the allegations are false. He doesn’t want false allegations to be made against him,” counsel said.

One of the texts, purporting to be from a friend of the accused, stated: “He will also sue you over false allegations unless the allegations are withdrawn"

Mr Gillane told the jury that these texts were an attempt by the accused to remain in control and to intimidate the woman in dropping the charges.

He told the jury that the accused refused to make his real identify known to gardaí and he was “buying time and laying a false trail” by responding to texts sent by Det Gda Conway to the unregistered mobile phone he had used to book the escort.

In his texts the detective told the accused there was a serious allegation made against him and the accused asked for more details. At the same time he was texting the woman telling her to drop the charges in “a campaign of intimidation”, counsel said.

The accused was only identified when Det Gda Conway linked a pseudonym email address used by him on the Escorts Ireland website to a former employer of the man using IP addresses.

The jury is set to begin deliberations tomorrow after hearing from Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News