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Thursday 22 August 2019

Suspect arrested over alleged rape of student targeted on her walk home

Attack: The laneway off Winetavern Street. Picture: Arthur Carron
Attack: The laneway off Winetavern Street. Picture: Arthur Carron

Ken Foy

Gardaí have arrested a suspected rapist who they believe attacked a female student in Dublin city centre in early December.

The suspect, from the Blanchardstown area, was picked up recently and questioned at Kevin Street garda station before being released without charge. A file will now be prepared for the DPP.

A senior source said "excellent quality CCTV" helped officers identify him after a previous suspect, who is based in Co Louth, was ruled out of the long-running investigation. CCTV showed the suspect, who is an Irish national and believed to be aged in his 30s, had earlier been in the Temple Bar and St Stephen's Green areas of the city centre.

It is understood that the suspect has claimed to gardaí that he had consensual sex with the young woman. The sexual assault is alleged to have taken place in the Christchurch area of the capital's south inner city, at around 3.30am on Sunday, December 2.

The victim, who is said to be "extremely traumatised" after her ordeal, is aged in her 20s and from Germany.

She has returned to her native country, where she is being comforted by family and friends.

The woman was attacked in a laneway off Winetavern Street after earlier socialising at a pub in the north city.

It is understood she was attacked as she walked home by a "random stranger".

After being allegedly raped, the disorientated woman made her way to the Civic Offices at Wood Quay and it was from there that she alerted gardaí.

"This was an absolutely horrendous experience for a young woman who is in Ireland as part of her studies," a source said at the time.

"The allegation is being treated as completely credible." It is understood the woman was treated at the Dublin Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the Rotunda Hospital and has given gardaí a full statement.

Irish Independent

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