Sunday 15 December 2019

Gardai investigating Brazilian student's alleged false rape claim 'came close' to arresting man

Cabra Park
Cabra Park
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A BRAZILIAN student charged with making a false rape claim to gardai persisted with her story for 12 days and identified a man she had met, it has been alleged.

Thais Regina de Olivera (20) wasted “considerable” garda resources in her claim and officers “came close” to making an arrest before she made admissions, a garda told Dublin District Court.

Judge Anthony Halpin granted her bail after remarking that she was in a type of “solitary confinement” while in custody because she did not speak English.

She was remanded in custody until she is in a position to take up €1,000 cash bail.

Ms de Oliveira (20) allegedly made a false report to officers that she was sexually assaulted after being dragged down a lane by three men as she walked to work.

The accused, with an address at Cabra Park, Phibsboro is charged with making a false statement at Mountjoy Garda Station on August 28 last.

She allegedly told gardai she was attacked by three men at Cabra Park on August 24.

Objecting to bail, Det Gda Chris Cahill said it was alleged that the defendant made a report to the gardai “to the effect that she had been sexually assaulted.”

This led to a major investigation and only after 12 days, and “significant cost in terms of time and resources” she admitted that she fabricated the allegation, Det Gda Cahill alleged.

“The sinister element of the (alleged) crime is that a person she alleged committed the act was an actual real person that she had encountered,” he said.

He also believed the accused was a flight risk and would not turn up in court if granted bail.

She had been due to return to Brazil next January but recently changed her flight to 6pm on the day she was arrested.

She had no ties to Ireland apart from a Brazilian boyfriend who was living here but was not in court, Det Gda Cahill said.

“She has nothing to gain by staying here and everything to lose,” he said.

Applying for bail, Defence Solicitor Peter Keatings said the defendant enjoyed a presumption of innocence and was willing to abide by conditions.

In evidence, Ms de Oliveira said through a Portuguese interpreter: “I know it is a serious issue and I will not leave the country.”

She said she would never allow her family’s bail money to be lost and explained that her boyfriend was not present because he would lose his study place if he “skipped class.”

Crying, she said she could not speak to anyone in prison, adding: “I am very alone.”

The garda said it was intended to prepare a file in the next seven to 10 days.

Judge Halpin granted bail in the accused’s bond of €1,000. Conditions are that she signs on daily at Mountjoy Garda Station, lives at Cabra Park and observes a curfew. She must also provide a 24 hour mobile phone number to gardai.

She was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear in court later this month.

Judge Halpin said a false allegation of rape was “one of the most serious of crimes” for the gardai to investigate.

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