Wednesday 20 November 2019

Female garda claims fellow officer raped her at party

Jim Cusack

A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in a case where a female garda has claimed she was raped after attending a drinking session and party with other gardai, it has been learned.

The case has been under investigation for more than a year and a number of gardai have been transferred and assigned to other duties.

However, it is understood the garda investigation has been completed and the file has been sent to the DPP, who will decide if charges will be brought.

According to sources, the incident occurred after a group of young male and female gardai spent an evening in a club drinking into the early hours.

They then returned to a garda's house.

It is understood the female garda said she was upstairs in bed at around 6am and got up to go to the toilet. When she came back into the bedroom, she said, a male garda, who had been downstairs on a sofa, allegedly came upstairs and was in her bed. She said she asked him to leave.

It is claimed the male garda, in his 20s, got out of bed but, instead of leaving, locked the door and raped her.

All the young gardai present were questioned.

It is understood that there was a statement by one that there were noises and the bedroom door was locked.

The location of the alleged rape and the station the gardai were attached to is known but cannot be revealed for legal reasons.

It is also known what licensed premises the group had been drinking in before returning to the house party. The premises is a pub and club and serves after normal hours. It is believed the group had been drinking there until the early hours.

A number of those present at the club were subsequently transferred as details of the evening emerged. None has been suspended but, if the DPP recommends charges, the male garda concerned faces suspension pending the outcome of a trial.

A large proportion of gardai are under 30 given the accelerated intake during the tenure of Michael McDowell as Minister for Justice. He increased the size of the force from 12,000 to 14,000.

There has also been an increase in older members reaching retirement age or taking early retirement.

The number of female gardai is also at its highest rate ever.

While other offences and misdemeanors are commonly investigated by the Garda Ombudsman and by the Garda's Internal Affairs section, it is believed this is the first time that an allegation of rape has been levelled by one member of the force against another.

Sunday Independent

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