Eyewitnesses in 'taxi rape' case saw woman in a distressed state
Gardaí investigating the alleged rape of a woman in Ballsbridge have interviewed a number of witnesses who saw the woman in a "distressed state" after the incident.
The witnesses came forward after investigating gardaí issued an appeal for people who may have seen her in the Mountjoy Square area in Dublin's north inner city in the early hours of Sunday morning last.
The new development comes as gardaí prepare to canvass the areas of Ballsbridge and the Mountjoy Square tonight. They will also be conducting door-to-door inquiries in both areas.
Investigating officers are also continuing to trawl through CCTV across the city centre in a bid to find the car in which the woman was travelling.
The woman - who is in her 20s - attended a Christmas party in a Ballsbridge hotel in Dublin 4 on Saturday night.
She has told detectives she hailed a taxi from the venue, but got out of the car after she became unwell.
She believes she got into another taxi in the Dublin 4 area - but officers are still working on whether this vehicle was a genuine taxi.
She was reportedly raped in this vehicle between 12.43am and 2.14am on Sunday morning.
She ended up in Mountjoy Square, in Dublin's north inner city.
Gardaí are continuing to appeal to people who may have seen her in this area between 2.14am and 3.40am on Sunday to contact them.
So far, a number of people who saw the woman in the area have come forward, telling gardaí she was in a distressed state.
Separately, the investigation into a complaint by a woman that a well-known sports star raped her is continuing.
However, the woman has not made a formal statement of complaint about the incident which is alleged to have occurred in the early hours of Monday.
Detectives in Blackrock, south Dublin, are now leading the investigation.
It's believed the alleged offence occurred in a hotel in the south of the city, and not in the city centre as initially believed.
Gardaí in Pearse Street had been leading the investigation at first, as it was believed the alleged attack occurred in a "penthouse suite" in Dublin city centre.
However on Wednesday, it was established the alleged offence occurred in another hotel outside of the city centre.
It's understood gardaí have conducted an examination of the suite where the incident allegedly happened, but the room had been cleaned up by unsuspecting staff as per housekeeping requirements of the hotel.
The sports star has not been spoken to by gardaí , as no formal complaint has been made. An arrest cannot take place in any similar case until a formal complaint is made. Due to the nature of such investigations, it can take some time before a formal statement is made to gardaí .
However, gardaí are treating this as a "live" investigation and are proceeding with enquiries. They believe they have established a timeline "of sorts" relating to the night in question.
The complainant - who was known to the sports star through his associates - contacted gardaí on Monday afternoon.
She later attended a sexual assault unit.