Saturday 22 October 2016

Woman allegedly raped by friend said she didn't report it as she 'hoped he would get help'

Fiona Ferguson

Published 05/10/2016 | 18:37

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

The trial of a man who told gardai he was “sleepwalking” at the time he allegedly raped a female friend has heard the woman did not initially report it as she was hoping he would get help.

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The woman said she was also nervous about taking a case but later made a statement to gardai as she was afraid he would do it to someone else.

The Central Criminal Court also heard that the accused man's mother said he had been looking up “sleep sex” on the internet in the days after the alleged offence.

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 in the early hours of September 28, 2008.

During cross examination the complainant agreed with Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, that she and the accused, who were platonic friends, had come to Dublin to attend an event and were sharing a bed in a friend's flat after a night out. He was aged 21 and she was 22 at the time.

She said she removed her coat and shoes before getting into bed and going to sleep. She said she woke up about an hour and a half later to find the accused on top of her with his penis inside her.

The court heard she left the flat and rang her sister who came to meet her in the city centre.

The woman agreed with Mr Hartnett that a few days later she met with the accused and had a long conversation during which they both cried. She said she wanted him to get help so he would not rape anyone else.

She said she told the accused he raped her and he said “yeah I know.” He later told her he thought he might have been sleep-walking. She agreed the man went to a rape crisis centre.

She agreed that she said she would not make a report to gardai, saying she was hoping he would get help. She said she later changed her mind as she felt he was not taking it seriously.

“I just felt he was not really getting any help and could do it to someone else,” she said.

She said she had a “general conversation” with a garda about the process of making a complaint.

She said she also got advice from a person who worked in the legal area. She said she had been warned it was a long and hard process and that victims of rape can regret reporting it.

The complainant's mother described how the girl had been distressed and crying after coming home with her sister after the trip to Dublin. She said there had been some discussion about going to the gardai but the girl would not agree.

Her mother said she was aware that the accused had been sending text messages to her daughter wanting to meet with her. She went to the accused man's home and met him and his mother. She said she was there for about one hour and they talked about what had happened.

She said the accused said he was sorry for what had happened to her daughter and it was not her fault. He said her daughter had behaved very appropriately all the time.

She told the court the accused man's mother said that in the three days since the incident he had been looking up “sleep sex” on the internet. His mother told her he had a problem with sleep-walking since he was young.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

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