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Teens accused of gang rape in back of van

THREE men have gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of raping a woman in the back of a van in Cork.

The accused were aged 15, 16 and 18 at the time of the alleged gang rape. The alleged victim was aged 31.

The men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have each pleaded not guilty to four charges, namely the rape, oral rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of a woman in Cork on September 13, 2009. Two are now aged 19 and the other is 21.

One of the men has pleaded guilty to stealing the woman's car from outside her home.

Opening the trial, prosecuting counsel Patrick McCarthy told the jury the three accused were involved in a prior agreement to take part in a criminal enterprise. He said they will hear evidence the men were driving around in a white van with a mattress in the back at around 3am when they met the alleged victim and that they picked her up and drove her to a more remote location where she was raped, sexually assaulted and assaulted.

Shouted

The woman told the court that she heard one man shouting "hi-dee-ho" during the alleged attack. She said there was a woman inside the back of the van "watching everything" and egging the men on.

The woman told Mr McCarthy she had being on a night out with friends.

She said she had drank a lot and was drunk. She said she remembers talking to a drunken girl at a pub at around 2am. The next thing she was aware of was being in the back of the van. She said there was one man sitting beside her and that they stopped after driving for about 10 minutes. She said others then got into the back and she became scared and realised she was outnumbered.

She said the four people had Traveller accents. She said one man stood in front of her and tried to force her into oral sex.

She said she thought about biting him but the man was getting increasingly agitated and rougher. She said she gave in and he raped her orally.

Another man pushed her down and lay on top of her, she alleged. She said he thought he was having sex with her but he didn't penetrate her.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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