Tuesday 20 March 2018

Woman who alleges she was raped on tour bus after Jason Derulo concert questioned on differing accounts as trial continues

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A woman who alleges she was raped by two men following a concert by American singer Jason Derulo says her evidence was the whole truth, and conflicting accounts given to three different individuals in the hours after the alleged incident were “false memories”.

The defendants, aged 35 and 44 years old, deny the offences which are alleged to have occurred in a hired tour bus at an unknown location in Cork city on June 27, 2014.

The 35-year-old man 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.

The 44-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to anal rape and false imprisonment of the woman on the same occasion. The accused men can not be identified for legal reasons.

The court heard Mr Derulo is not charged with any offence in relation to these events.

Today Kerida Naidoo SC, representing one of the men, led the woman through the differing accounts she gave to a garda in a patrol car, a nurse at a sexual assault treatment unit and her first official garda statements regarding the alleged incident.

All three individuals recorded written notes of their conversation with the complainant.

The accounts differed as regards to the type of rape that allegedly occurred and whether both men had allegedly raped her simultaneously or one after the other.

The woman accepted she said things that “simply didn't happen” when describing what had occurred in the hours following the alleged incident.

“I hadn't had any sleep, maybe my mind was confused,” she said.

She agreed with Mr Naidoo that these were “false memories”.

The complainant gave her first statement to gardaí on June 27, and made a second statement 10 days later, on July 7.

When asked by Mr Naidoo why she changed details of her story, she said it took her this amount of time to come around to what had happened.

“I was away from the clinic and the garda station. I stayed in bed for the whole ten days, and I had my supportive family,” she said.

Mr Naidoo put it to her that she had thought about it and realised that if her story was to hold up, she had to take certain details out.

The woman replied that she was tired, and had no sleep, food or drink on the night of the incident when she gave her original statement to gardaí.

Mr Naidoo asked if the gardaí had read her original statement to her at the time and asked if she wanted to make deletions or additions.

The complainant said she couldn't remember making a number of additions to her statement. Counsel put it to her that her initial account described the men as raping her in turn but her addition described them raping her simultaneously.

“Your account didn't include the detail of simultaneous vaginal and anal sex - the garda read it to you, you stopped her, and said you needed to add to it,” he said.

She further agreed with Mr Naidoo, when he said that confusion and tiredness can't be used to explain details that the woman now acknowledges are untrue.

The complainant confirmed that she had re-read her second official garda statement prior to coming to court.

“So if the gardaí had given you your first statement instead, is there any possibility it would have become the truth?” Mr Naidoo asked.

The complainant said no.

On Monday, the woman told the court that a man identified as “cap guy” blocked her from getting off the tour bus.

She claims he then brought her upstairs, where he raped her, orally and vaginally, while they were “half in, half out of a bunk bed.”

She claims another larger man came over at one point and also raped her. The woman said she was terrified and asked them to stop, but they didn't. She said she managed to make her escape after a third man came over and said “I'm next.”

It is the prosecution case that “cap guy” is the 35-year-old accused and the larger man is the 44-year-old accused man.

Earlier in the trial, during cross examination, Sean Guerin SC, who is defending the 35-year-old accused, said his client accepts he had sex with the complainant, and accepts she performed oral sex on him, but doesn't accept consent was absent.

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

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