Tuesday 17 October 2017

Man accused of taking part in gang rape claims alleged victim kissed him first

Declan Brennan

ONE of the men accused of taking part in a gang rape in told gardai that the alleged victim started kissing him first.

The woman told the Central Criminal Court that she couldn’t remember having any sexual contact with this man, who was aged 15 at the time.



She told Thomas Creed SC, defending, that her memory was hazy but she remembers not being scared of this accused and that he was “alright”.



Three Cork men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have each pleaded not guilty to four charges, namely the rape, oral rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of a woman at an unknown location in Cork on September 13, 2009.



It is the State's case that the accused men were part of a joint enterprise where the woman was raped and assaulted on a mattress in the back of their van at around 3am.



The accused were aged 15, 16 and 18 at the time while the alleged victim was aged 31.



On the second day of the trial she was cross examined by defence counsel who put it to her that after his arrest his client told gardai that she had fallen backwards into his lap when the van came to a breaking stop.



Mr Creed said his client felt “shy and awkward” about being in the back of the van with the woman while the other men were in the front.



This man told gardai that the woman began rubbing his chest and kissing his neck. He then started to rub her legs and chest and they undressed and had “some form of sexual intercourse”.



The woman said she had no memory of this happening. Asked if any of it could have happened she said: “I don't know. I don't think so.”



She said her memory was that the sexual assault and rape were carried out by the other men and not by the 15-year-old. She said: “I have it in my head that he was alright. I wasn't scared of him”.



The woman has given evidence earlier that when the van stopped two men came from the front of the van and she was raped and sexually assaulted by them. She said there was a woman present too “egging” the men on and that this woman sexually assaulted her too.



Mr Creed put it to her that there was no woman in the van and that the fourth person was an 11-year-old boy. She said there was a woman there but she admitted her recollection is hazy.



A friend of the woman told prosecuting counsel Patrick McCarthy SC that he was driving past her house at around 4.30am when he saw a white van and three men and a woman acting suspiciously.



He followed the van for a short period before returning to the house. He said when he met the woman inside her home she told him: “They raped me, they raped me”. He said she was distraught and he gave her a hug. He said he then rang gardai.



The trial continues on Tuesday before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of seven women and five men.



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