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Man goes on trial for sexually assaulting a bar woman on the dance floor of a late night bar

The man pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the woman.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A MAN HAS gone on trial charged with sexually assaulting a bar woman on the dance floor of a late night bar.

Donal Geoghegan (37) of Oakdale Park, Ballycullen, Dublin pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in a city centre late night bar on 21 November, 2015.

Opening the case today Lisa Dempsey BL told the jury that it is alleged Geoghegan touched the woman “in the vaginal area on outside of her clothing” as she walked past him while carrying empty glasses on the dance floor.

“She felt a hand move across her left thigh towards her vagina. She immediately turned around and identified the man who had done this,” Ms Dempsey said.

The court heard the woman (22) was “repulsed” and reported the incident to security staff. They approached the defendant and asked him to accompany them downstairs to the office, Ms Dempsey said.

The jury heard that the head of security at the venue and the general manager then spoke to Geoghegan, who declined to provide them with personal details and made no admissions in relation to the incident.

The defendant was then asked to leave the premises by management. The complainant, who was aged 20 at the time, phoned her mother and asked her to collect her.

Giving evidence, the complainant said that there was a good atmosphere in the bar on the night of the alleged assault. She said that things were winding down and she was in the process of cleaning up and was carrying glasses as she walked across the dance floor.

“Felt like hours”

“I felt a hand coming onto the pocket area at the top of my thigh and then it moved to my vagina where it stayed for what felt like hours,” she said.

I swung around and saw a man staring at me straight on at me knowing what he had done; he had intentionally reached for my vagina so he could feel my private area.

The complainant told the court that she then turned around and yelled and cursed at the man, saying:

Do not touch me.

She said she went to get help from colleagues as she felt sick and violated and knew what had happened was wrong.

“When I looked back over he was dancing with friends. It’s disgusting he thought he could do that and then go back to his friends and pretend that nothing had happened,” she said.

Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, said that it was Geoghegan’s contention that the woman was not touched by him, and that in the event that she was it was accidental and unintentional.

During cross-examination O’Higgins put it to the complainant that in her statement to gardaí she said “somebody” sexually assaulted her, but did not specify that it was the defendant.

O’Higgins said that his client happened to be the person who was closest to her. The woman replied that the accused had looked at her in “a blank and indifferent way, almost as if he knew I couldn’t do anything about it”.

“He looked at you in a blank and indifferent way because the music was loud and he had no idea why you were staring at him,” he said.

“My client happened to be in the line of fire as he was the nearest person to you,” counsel said.

The woman said no to this. She agreed the venue was crowded and congested but said there was enough space for him not to touch her vagina.

O’Higgins put it to the woman that she was relying on gut instinct regarding the identity of the man who assaulted her.

“You don’t know because you didn’t actually see him do it,” he said.

“I felt it and I know the man that assaulted me,” the complainant replied.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of eight men and four women.

Comments have been closed on this article because it involves a case which is currently before the courts. 

Read: Former company director who stole over €460,000 from another firm to keep business afloat sentenced to 18 months in prison

Read: Man (45) jailed for 7 and a half years after raping two women he met in a nightclub

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Sarah-Jane Murphy

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