Sunday 22 September 2019

'She’s heartbroken and fears she wasn’t believed'

The young woman whose choice of underwear was raised by the defence in the Cork rape trial is said to be "heartbroken" by the verdict and fears she wasn't believed by the jury.

Protest: Women express their views about the rape case in O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Barbara Lindberg
Protest: Women express their views about the rape case in O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Barbara Lindberg

Shane Phelan and Ralph Riegel

The young woman whose choice of underwear was raised by the defence in the Cork rape trial is said to be "heartbroken" by the verdict and fears she wasn't believed by the jury.

This month, a 30-year-old married man was acquitted of raping the then 17-year-old student in 2015.

The defendant in the case was well-known to gardaí prior to the incident, and has a violent criminal record, including convictions for assault causing harm and criminal damage.

The Irish Independent has learned this was the second time the young woman had to endure the ordeal of a trial. The initial trial at the Central Criminal Court collapsed last year following legal argument over the presentation of medical evidence.

The retrial hit headlines around the world and sparked protests after a defence barrister urged jurors to consider the way the woman was dressed, pointing out she was wearing a thong with a lace front.

It has now emerged the young woman was "very upset" by the outcome of the case and how her clothing became the focus of attention.

"Her main concern is that she fears she wasn't believed," a Garda source familiar with the case said.

"But she is also very emotional about the impact the case had on her family and the way in which the clothing she wore on the night has become an issue, particularly in the media. It has been very, very tough on her."

Irish Independent

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