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Central Criminal Court

Woman allegedly raped by three men in car park tells trial she believed she was 'going for a drive'

The woman said she was clear from the outset that she had been raped but was in shock.

A WOMAN WHO was allegedly raped by three men in a hotel car park has told defence counsel that she believed she was “going for a drive” that night.

Under cross-examination by Michael O’Higgins SC, acting for the first defendant, the complainant confirmed that her friend had texted to ask if she wanted to go for a drive.

She agreed that her friend told her “there were lads coming out that she had met a couple of nights before.”

The first defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

A second defendant (23) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape, one count of oral rape and two counts of sexual assault.

The third defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and one count of oral rape.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on 20 December , 2017, at a hotel car park in the Leinster area. The woman was aged 17 at the time.

The woman was continuing to give her evidence at the Central Criminal Court via video-link on the fourth day of the trial yesterday.

She agreed with Mr O’Higgins that her friend said she had met the second and third defendants, and told her that she’d had sex with them.

When asked why they waited over two hours for the car to arrive, the complainant said they were hanging out and she didn’t realise how long it was going to take. She said she told her friend she didn’t want to go.

The complainant agreed with Mr O’Higgins that she had never gotten into a car with boys she didn’t know before and her friend was encouraging her to get in. She accepted that her friend showed her photos on Facebook.

She agreed with Mr O’Higgins that, as far as she was concerned, “this was a drive and sex wasn’t on the agenda.”

The complainant confirmed to defence counsel that her friend and another girl walked to the car when it arrived. She said she couldn’t hear the conversation.

She said her friend got into the car and “was looking at me to say ‘come on,’ so I hopped in”.

Mr O’Higgins put it to the complainant that two girls present when the car arrived told gardaí she was the first to get in, which she denied.

She agreed when Mr O’Higgins put it to her that “the idea of any sex was a complete surprise,” when she later got out of the car in the hotel car park and was approached by his client.

Mr O’Higgins asked the complainant why she didn’t tell the jury in her evidence that she kissed his client back when he kissed her. She said she didn’t know and he never asked, he just “came up and kissed me”.

“I was in shock, so I let him do it,” she said.

The complainant told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, that she used her phone while in the car on the way back to tell another friend that she’d turned on her location on Snapchat and to keep an eye on it.

She said she called this friend and asked her if she could use the toilet. The complainant said she told her friend she’d been out with people who had “forced me to have sex with them”.

Her friend wanted her to call gardaí and to tell her mother and sister, which she said she would do. The complainant said she was “shocked” and “scared” while speaking to her friend as she couldn’t believe what had happened.

She told Mr O’Higgins that she was clear from the outset that his client had raped her, but she was in shock.

She agreed that she told her friend she’d had sex with three guys but didn’t want to, and her friend replied “you’ve been raped, but don’t realise it.”

When asked by Mr O’Higgins why her friend said this, the complainant replied that she told her no, and was in denial about what happened. She said she knew what had happened was rape, but didn’t want to admit it to herself.

Mr O’Higgins told her he would not suggest that it hadn’t been an “unpleasant” and “difficult” night for her, but said it is not accepted that his client made any demands of her or that the sexual activity was not consensual.

When Mr O’Higgins asked the complainant why an account of events she gave to the doctor at the sexual assault treatment unit didn’t mention she got out of the car, she accepted this and said she didn’t know why.

She said she got out of the car as she was “scared and wanted to leave”. The complainant rejected a suggestion from defence counsel that she didn’t tell the doctor that she left the car because she’d “have to accept” kissing his client back.

Mr O’Higgins asked the complainant why she didn’t tell the doctor she said no to his client, when she told them that she’d said no to the second and third defendants. She repeated that she had said no to all three boys

The trial continues before Ms Justice Melanie Greally and the jury.

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Author
Eimear Dodd and Isabel Hayes