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Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie
Courts

Celebrity accused of defilement accepts complainant doesn't hold grudge against him, court hears

The man (40) has pleaded not guilty to three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 17 in 2010.

AN IRISH CELEBRITY accused of the defilement of a 16-year-old girl over a decade ago said he accepts the complainant doesn’t hold a grudge against him.

Under cross-examination today, the man (40) agreed with Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, that the woman is “someone who doesn’t have a grudge” against him.

He added he thought she might have been upset after they met at a festival in Spain in 2012. This was “the first time we had been fully intimate together”.

He said she expressed upset “as I hadn’t contacted her in the aftermath”. He said he left his phone behind, but later sent her a message to apologise.

The man has pleaded not guilty to three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 17 at locations in Dublin on dates between August and December 2010.

He denied Brennan’s suggestion that the complainant was telling the truth about the alleged incident at his workplace.

Brennan put it to him that his evidence that he was never in the stairwell of this building was “unbelievable”. He replied that he used another staircase in the building.

She also suggested that the “only plausible” version of events is the one put forward by the complainant. The man replied: “I disagree”.

The man told Brennan that he was aware gardaí have confirmed that the restaurant where he said he and the complainant went for lunch in January 2011 was not open at that time.

He said he was “happy to correct the record” and accept that the particular restaurant was not open then. However, he insisted it is his evidence that he and the complainant had gone for “casual food” in that general area.

He agreed that he showed the complainant pictures of his home during their second meeting, possibly of a Christmas party there but could not recall specifically. He said he was “very proud” of the house.

Brennan suggested that his evidence that the woman had not been to his house “to the best of his recollection” could mean she could have been at the house, but he couldn’t recall. He replied “She wasn’t there”.

She suggested that the complainant described the route to his home “spot on” because she had been there. He replied if she had been there, she would have described the distinctive features of the house.

Brennan told the man that the complainant wasn’t asked to describe the house’s features, but what had happened. He said: “I don’t know how to respond to that.”

When asked about the night of the Deadmaus concert on 20 December 2010, the man said he was “practically certain” he was not home that day due to work.

Brennan put it to the man that none of his movements on that day were inconsistent with the complainant “popping in for 30 minutes”. He said it “didn’t happen”.

The man said he met the woman in early March 2011 for lunch, before he moved abroad. He said they kept in touch occasionally by text.

Brennan asked if it was “unusual” that he “made time” to meet the woman in the days before he moved abroad, “given you’d only met her twice before”.

He said the woman had “reached out” and he invited her to visit his office.

Brennan put it to the man that he, “made a lot of time for this girl that you met twice previously?”.

He replied “I wouldn’t say that was a lot of time, I said I’m here if you want to swing by”.

The man said “I don’t think I had a specific categorisation” when asked about his relationship with the complainant and why he decided to stay in touch after moving abroad.

He said she told him she was 18 and was interested in media. He said a lot of people had given him advice and help and “I was happy to meet her on that basis”.

“We kept in touch, eventually there was a physical element to that relationship.”

When asked if he had gone to a room in a hotel with the woman in December 2011, the man said “absolutely not”.

He denied Brennan’s suggestion that the “only explanation” for texting the woman late on 25 December 2011, was that an intimate relationship had started between them in 2010.

Brennan suggested to the man that it is unusual for people to wait a long time to ask someone on a date. He replied, “I believe I did ask her on a date” in June 2012. He said they met and “not long after I was out of the country for a year”.

When asked why he used the phrase “proper date” in a text to the woman around this time, he said he didn’t know. “I think just declaring some romantic intention perhaps”.

The man said an intimate relationship developed with the woman for the first time around June 2012.

In other evidence, a witness from an orthodontics clinic confirmed they had records that the man got braces on 20 January 2011 which were removed in early March 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has previously heard that the complainant initially told the man she was 18 when they first met at a music festival in July 2010. In her evidence, she said she had told him she was 16 before they engaged in sexual activity.

It is the State’s case that the man put his penis in the complainant’s mouth on three occasions, once in his workplace and twice in his home. The complainant was 16 at the time, while the man was then 27. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The trial continues.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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