A woman who was allegedly raped by three men in a hotel car park six years ago has told counsel for one of the defendants that she didn't think she'd “have to shout no”.
On the sixth day of the Central Criminal Court trial, the complainant was cross-examined on her evidence by defence counsel for two of the three defendants.
The first defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault. A second defendant (23) has pleaded not guilty to rape, oral rape and two counts of sexual assault. The third defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to rape and oral rape.
The offences are alleged to have occurred on December 20th, 2017 at a hotel car park in the Leinster area. The complainant was aged 17 at the time.
The complainant told Garnet Orange SC, representing the second defendant, that she didn't engage in consensual sex with his client and she went along with it as she was scared that his client would hurt her.
“They got aggressive with their tone,” she said, adding that two of the male occupants of the car were “getting in each other's faces” during the drive to the car park.
When Mr Orange asked the complainant why she didn't mention this incident in the car during her direct evidence, she said she doesn't “remember every detail”.
Mr Orange put it to the complainant that no threats were made to her. She replied “They got aggressive with me. They got angrier in the way they were speaking to me.”
Mr Orange asked the complainant if she spoke loudly when she said no to sex. She replied “I said no, I didn’t think I’d have to shout no”.
The complainant said she wasn't aware that a security guard had drove up to the cars and spoken to someone at the scene. The security guard then drove away.
“I suggest if what you’re describing is true, something would have been done?” Mr Orange said.
“If I saw someone, I would have shouted out and asked them to help. I didn’t see anyone,” she said.
Michael O'Higgins, for the first defendant, put it to the complainant that she had lied when she told the jury that she first became aware that sex might be involved when they reached the hotel carpark. She said she hadn't lied.
Mr O'Higgins put it the complainant that his instructions are that she agreed to go for a walk with his client and she said this was not true. She confirmed that the first defendant had kissed her and she told gardaí she kissed him back, but said she “let him do it”.
Mr O'Higgins put it to her that his client didn't try to remove her trousers, and she said he had. The complainant said she removed her trousers because he was “going to do it anyway” and she'd “already started to lose control” of her body.
She told Mr O'Higgins that she told his client that she didn't want sex and didn't offer to give anyone oral sex. Mr O'Higgins asked the complainant why she was “very forceful” in her replies to his questions, but “didn't express anything” to his client and “allowed him to rape you”.
“How is it you can stand up for yourself when answering questions, but did not say anything when [he] raped you?,” Mr O'Higgins said.
“I said no,” the complainant replied. “The reason I can sit here and fight for myself is I’ve built myself a backbone.”
The complainant disagreed with Mr O'Higgins when he suggested that the second defendant was not in the car.
She agreed with Mr O'Higgins that the car stopped at two garages on the journey back. She told Mr O'Higgins that she knew she had been raped, but didn't initially want to admit what had happened.
The complainant told Mr O'Higgins that she didn't know why she didn't mention in her evidence that her friend told her that she'd (her friend) had sex with two of the boys the previous weekend.
The woman confirmed that her friend opened Facebook and showed her a picture of the third defendant earlier that evening while waiting for the car to arrive.
In her statement to gardaí the woman said that she went to the car a few minutes after her friend had gone to it. The jury viewed CCTV footage showing a six second delay between her friend and another girl going to the car and when she started to walk towards the vehicle.
She denied Mr O'Higgins's suggestion that she lied to gardaí about the length of time before she went to the car in order to give a false impression that she was hanging back from the interaction. She said she isn't good at time management and it had seemed longer to her.
When asked by Mr O'Higgins why she told gardaí she got a “sick feeling” when the car arrived, the complainant said she was “nervous about people coming I'd never met before”.
Mr Orange asked the complainant if she “didn't like the idea of meeting Travellers or going off in a car with Travellers” and she accepted this. The complainant re-iterated that she didn't want to get into the car, but accepted she got in voluntarily.
The complainant told Mr Orange that she was “completely sober” on the night in question.
The complainant said she stayed with her friend to hang out for several hours before the car containing four boys arrived. She said she wanted to leave, but her friend asked her to stay.
She confirmed she hadn't met the boys before that evening, and only got in the car to stay with her friend. The complainant said she didn't want to leave her friend alone.
She told Mr Orange that she couldn't remember if she later told other friends that she tried to run away when the car stopped at the hotel car park. The complainant said she got out of the car and walked away.
Mr Orange put it to the complainant that she told a friend that the boys were “lovely” and “gas” in a message later that night when she got home. She said she wasn't really friends with this person and “I didn't want to tell her anything”.
The complainant denied a suggestion from Mr Orange that she went to see another friend when she got back home as a “bit of cover” so her mother wouldn't find out what had happened.
She told Mr O'Higgins she didn't remember deleting a number of apps from her phone before handing it over to gardaí. Mr Orange put it to the complainant that she deleted apps in an attempt to “cover her tracks” and she said she didn't remember doing this.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Melanie Greally and the jury.