Sunday 25 March 2018

Jury begins deliberation in rape trial where woman 'mistakenly took ketamine drug'

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Conor Gallagher

A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a man accused of raping a woman while she was incapacitated from mistakenly taking the drug ketamine.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard allegations that the accused hit the woman on the face with his genitals in a room of people at a party before raping her as she lay in his bed.

The woman told the jury that after snorting a line of ketamine, thinking it was cocaine, she was paralysed and was unable to see or talk. She said she knew ketamine was being passed around along with cocaine and that she had earlier announced to the room that she didn't want to take ketamine.

The accused, who works as a bar manager, told gardaí he had consensual sex with the woman and denied hitting her with his genitals.

He has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault in a Dublin apartment in November 2013. A jury of eight men and four women has now heard all the evidence and began deliberations on Friday afternoon. It will resume deliberations on Monday after hearing a recap of the woman's evidence from Mr Justice Paul Butler.

During the trial the woman told the court that she went to the accused's apartment on the Sunday evening after being told there was a party on there. She arrived to find about five people there. More people arrived later.

There was cocaine on a cake tray in the room and she had a line along with a few drinks, she said. More drugs were later produced which the woman thought was also cocaine. She took one line and was “completely incapacitated” she said.

She said was lying on the floor and said she couldn't speak and was only able to making a squeaking noise.

After he stopped she went to the bathroom. She said at this stage she had no motor-skills or “even proper speech”. She said she also had a warped sense of time.

A friend brought her into a bedroom and she went to sleep. She said she later awoke to find the accused pulling down her jeans. She said she told him “forget about it” but that he had sex with her without her consent. This lasted for about 20 seconds before it stopped and she fell back into “an awful coma sleep.”

She said she woke in the morning and the accused told her to clean up before letting herself out. She left and later made a complaint to gardaí.

The woman told Sean Gillane SC, defending, that she didn't see the accused's genitals during the alleged sexual assault but that she felt it.

She agreed her friend asked her if she wanted to leave while she was in bed but that she refused because she was too incapacitated from the drug.

“Staying awake wasn't an option,” she told counsel.

She said she left the party at one stage during the evening before taking the drug but denied sending a text to someone there asking: “is the cute guy still there?” before she returned.

Another party-goer gave evidence that at one stage he noticed the accused's “bare buttocks” in the living room but didn't see any movement. The witness said he didn't see the woman being hit and that he would have intervened if he thought there was something wrong.

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