Sunday 8 December 2019

Man accused of raping woman after Jason Derulo concert says they were 'never alone', court hears

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A man accused of raping a woman after a Jason Derulo concert in Cork has said there were no closed doors on the tour bus where she alleges the incident happened.

In a video recorded garda interview shown to the jury, the man described how he was never alone with the complainant and that other people witnessed him having sex with her in the tour bus.

“Everybody’s moving, there’s no closed doors, everybody knows what’s going on, we’re right in the hallway”, the man told gardaí after his arrest," he said.

The 35-year-old man who can't be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, oral rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment of the then 19-year-old woman at an unknown location in Cork city on June 27, 2014.

In the video interview, the accused described the "rock and roll" lifestyle of the tour bus where he said he had consensual sex with the woman in the bus's hallway.

He said the encounter lasted for about 15 minutes and included consensual oral sex. Afterwards, the man said he removed the condom he had been wearing and returned downstairs to where he had initially been speaking with the complainant.

He said after five minutes the woman returned downstairs, said goodbye and was let out of the bus by security.

After the woman's statement of events was read out to him, the man responded that her account had “a lot of contradictions” and some aspects didn't “make sense”.

He asked: “If there was force, where’s the bruises, where’s the scratches?”

The man said he was not aggressive, that his approach to women was “Mr Nice Guy” and that he was good with conversation.

During the interview, he said the complainant followed him upstairs on the tour bus where they had sex and that she hadn't been “some drunken person who's wobbling around”.

He agreed his DNA would be found on her as they both had consensual sex, but denied he had taken drugs on the night. When asked how much he had to drink, he replied “literally a glass or two of champagne”.

Yesterday the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the charges against another man who had been accused of raping the same woman during the same encounter. The court heard there was insufficient evidence against the 44-year-old.

This followed a ruling by the trial judge Mr Justice Paul Butler.

The second defendant had denied the rape and false imprisonment of the complainant on the same occasion. Mr Derulo is not charged with any offence in relation to these events.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Butler and a jury of ten men and two women.

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