THERE were angry scenes at the Tralee sitting of the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday as a man charged with raping his friend's then- former girlfriend was acquitted by a unanimous jury.
A man, who was sitting in the public gallery with the complainant, had to be escorted outside after an angry outburst at the accused when the not guilty verdict was read out.
The jury took just 50 minutes to find the man not guilty of raping the then 23-year-old in her north Kerry home in August 2010.
During the four day trial, the man - who cannot be named for legal reasons - insisted the woman fabricated the entire story so she wouldn't have to tell her former partner she had consensual sex with his friend.
She claimed that after a night out drinking in Tralee with housemates and the accused and another male they knew, the group went back to her house for more drinks.
She said she was ' fairly drunk' and admitted sharing a cannabis joint with the accused before they both fell asleep on the couch.
She said she remembers a housemate ushering she and the accused to bed and recalled both getting into her bed fully clothed, she with her back to him.
She claimed that in the middle of the night she woke to find the accused man 'inside' her and that he had pulled her dress up around her waist and her underwear was pulled to the side.
The woman claimed she cried out for him to stop but he had his arm tightly around her chest. She said she tried to elbow him away but ' he didn't stop' and it was then her housemate burst into the room and turned on the light.
She said her friend roared at him to get out and both girls went downstairs.
He followed and the housemate phoned a taxi for the accused, before both girls went back to bed.
Defence barrister Isobel Kennedy SC accused the alleged victim of fabricating the entire story because she had been caught having consensual sex with her former partner's friend (it emerged during the trial that the woman and the aforementioned partner got back together some months after the alleged incident and are still in a relationship).
Video evidence from a number of bars showed the alleged victim and the accused hugging and kissing on several occasions during the night.
Ms Kennedy also questioned why, if she had been raped, the woman went socialising in Tralee on the next two nights. She also made mention of a toxicology report which showed traces of cocaine in the woman's system which it emerged had been taken while socialising two nights after the alleged incident.
In his statement to gardaí, the accused man said that although she was flirting with him and kissing and hugging him throughout the night, he was not responding.
He said he remembered he and the woman falling asleep on the couch and the woman's friend waking them up in the living room and telling them to go to bed. He claims the alleged victim got into bed with her dress on and he took off his jeans, socks and shoes.
He claimed that as he was falling asleep the woman initiated sexual activity and he took her dress off, adding that the woman lifted her arms over her head to allow him to do so. He said they then began having sex.
He said in his statement that when the housemate burst into the room she was saying ' how can you do that to (the woman's ex partner). He said she was asking 'what are ye doing' - like a mother scolding you."
The man said that all the girls wanted at the time was for the woman and her ex ' to live happily ever after' and that the friend was ' pissed off ' that she had caught them having sex.
He questioned why, if he had been accused of rape during the night, did both women share a glass of water with him downstairs? Why did the woman's friend offer him the couch to stay on, or why did she call him a taxi? he asked.
He also asked why the alleged victim would return to one of the bars he socialised in the following night if what she claimed happened had happened.
He said when he learned of the accusation being made against him he was 'absolutely devastated' and insisted the women came up with a story so the complainant's ex wouldn't find out what really happened.