Man allegedly raped 15-year-old girl he met wandering alone at night, court hears

The man denies the charge.

A MAN HAS gone on trial accused of raping a 15-year-old girl after he invited her back to his home when he found her wandering alone at night in a Dublin town.

Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, told the jury it would hear evidence that at the time of the alleged offence the teenager had been grounded by her parents after she attended a party without their permission.

That evening she snuck out of her bedroom window with the help of a male friend and headed into her local town. She and the friend separated but she made plans to meet him again later that night. The friend didn’t meet with her and she was spotted wandering around the streets alone.

Counsel told the jury two people later told the gardaí they saw an older man approach the teenager and speak with her before they walked off together.

Mr McGrath said it’s the State’s case that this man is the 41-year-old accused.

Counsel said the complainant later told gardaí that she told the man on first meeting him what age she was. She said he asked her did she need any money and later offered for her to stay at his home where he said she would be safe.

The teenager said she went with the man and initially they sat on separate couches in his apartment before he told her she could sleep in a bedroom and he said he would sleep in a separate room. She fell asleep fully clothed with her shoes on.

Mr McGrath said the complainant will testify that she woke up to find the man pulling at her clothing.

He said her evidence will be that the defendant put his hand over her mouth, pulled down her leggings and raped her. The complainant, who was a virgin at the time, told gardaí that this was painful and that she felt herself bleeding, counsel said.

He said the girl will testify that the man left the room but she could not get out because there was no handle on the inside of the door.

Mr McGrath said the teenager will give evidence that the man left the door ajar at one stage while he took a shower and she managed to get out of the apartment.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to a charge of rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment in a Dublin suburb on August 21, 2017. The complainant was 15 years old at the time of the alleged rape.

Mr McGrath told the jury that the teenager first made a complaint to the gardaí in November 2017 and the man’s apartment was searched as a part of the subsequent garda investigation.

During the search, a bloodstain was discovered on a mattress. DNA later extracted from that blood matched that of the complainant.

Counsel said the man was interviewed and agreed that he had brought the complainant back to the apartment but denied that he had raped her. He told gardaí that she fell asleep on a couch, while he fell asleep in the bedroom but she later came into his room and slept in the bed.

He told gardai there was no sexual activity and that the girl’s blood was found on the mattress because the teenager had her period. The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury.