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The 39-year-old accused man pleaded guilty to raping the woman following a party at a location in Dublin in June 2022. Alamy Stock Photo
Central Criminal Court

Rape survivor tells court she was shamed by some in her small community following the offence

The young woman told the court that when people find out what happened, she is judged more than the accused man.

A SURVIVOR OF rape has described how she was shamed by some people in her small community following the offence, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The young woman told the court that when people find out what happened, she is judged more than the accused man and the story has been twisted to say it is her fault.

She said the accused man had manipulated people and told them it was “okay” as she was his girlfriend, which she was not.

She says she has tried explaining it was not her fault and that she is afraid to tell new people what happened as she fears they will take what she told them and turn it into different versions.

“I hope he can stay in prison as long as possible, I feel he is where he belongs for what he did to me,” she said. “If there was not so much evidence, I feel like you would never admit what you did.”

She noted the accused man would serve his sentence and possibly get help in custody.

She said that for her: “It will never be finished, never be erased. I will always be a victim of rape.”

The 39-year-old accused man, who cannot be named to protect the woman’s identity, pleaded guilty to raping the woman following a party at a location in Dublin in June 2022.

He has no previous convictions.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon adjourned sentencing until February to allow her to consider the case.

A local garda told Eoghan Cole SC, prosecuting, that the offence occurred after both parties had attended a party.

The woman and man were known to each other and regularly talked together.

The court heard the woman had a considerable amount to drink and there was CCTV footage of her unable to walk as she was helped into a room to sleep by others.

She awoke with the accused in the bed, became aware of the presence of semen and thought sex had taken place without her knowing.

The woman was extremely distressed in the aftermath of the rape.

The man later told gardaí that they had spoken to each other and decided to have sex.

He said she had walked to the room “under her own steam” and he accepted they had sex.

Gardaí put the accounts of other people that she was carried to the room and was unable to walk or talk to him.

He denied taking advantage of the woman and said she was in a fit state to consent.

Gardaí then played the CCTV footage to him and put it to him that the account of her choosing to go to the room was not correct.

He said he thought it was “tipsy” behaviour and she could consent.

The garda agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that the injured party had very little recollection of the events and had been in no condition to consent.

The garda agreed the woman woke up, realised intercourse had taken place and the accused confirmed it.

Mr Munro read a letter written by the man to the court in which his client said he was “very sorry for my selfish actions”.

The man said he recognised the woman could not have consented and said he was fully responsible for everything that happened.

“I am truly sorry for what I have done,” he wrote, “I will carry the shame of what I did to you for the rest of my life.”

Mr Munro said it is hoped that the shame and responsibility will now go to his client, where it belongs.

He said the man acknowledges that he took advantage of the woman.

He submitted the man’s guilty plea was a valuable one in circumstances where the injured party has no recollection of the core events of the evening.

Counsel outlined his client has been assessed by the Probation Service as at low risk of reoffending.

He handed in testimonials and said outside of this event his client appears to be of good character.

He outlined his client has been attending an educational course in prison and making use of the services available to him in custody.