A YOUNG woman who claims that she was raped at Halloween when she was 12 years old by her slightly older cousin agreed today that she had previously made a rape claim against another young man but had withdrawn it.
Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford questioned the complainant in the rape trial today in relation to the other complaint.
“In October 2017 you made a complaint against another young man — an allegation of rape,” Ms Lankford SC said. The witness replied, “Yes.”
Ms Lankford said, “This allegation was investigated, statements were taken, a search warrant was issued and following a full investigation, you withdrew that complaint and never proceeded with it?” The complainant said, “Yes.”
Prosecution senior counsel Tom Creed asked the young woman why she had withdrawn the other complaint of rape against the second young man and she replied, “I felt I was not able to pursue two cases.”
Mr Creed said the defence lawyer, Ms Lankford, was suggesting that she was making up the complaint in the present case.
She replied, “I did not make it up. It happened. I wish I was making it up.”
The complainant agreed with Ms Lankford that she was somewhat difficult in her teens. Ms Lankford SC said, “Your family had concerns about your truthfulness. Your family thought you might be telling lies about things in general?” The witness replied, “Possibly.”
In relation to the present case being heard before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight men and four women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, Ms Lankford said the first time the complainant claimed she was raped by the defendant was at a transition year ball. Ms Lankford said, “I would suggest to you that after the TY ball you were on a path you could not come back from, and had to proceed with this path — you could not lose face, you had to keep going?”
The complainant replied, “No.”
Ms Lankford said there were inconsistencies in the way some allegations were described and the time periods associated with them, between statements made to a guidance teacher, counsellors and the evidence given in court today.
At the outset of the case on Monday, prosecution senior counsel Tom Creed said it would be alleged that the complainant was 12 when she went trick-or-treating with her 13-year-old cousin at Halloween 2011. Mr Creed said it was alleged that, “Upstairs in the bathroom there was penetration of her anus by his penis.” The prosecution senior counsel said the second count on the four-count indictment allegedly occurred the following October 2012, again on Halloween night and that a similar alleged offence occurred.
Mr Creed said that on later occasions before June 2014 it is alleged that there was rape by penetration of the complainant’s vagina with the defendant’s penis and finally an act of oral rape at a time when the complainant was 15 years old.
The defendant, now aged 22, pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
He denied having sexual intercourse with the complainant at a time when she did not consent or when he was reckless as to whether she consented or not. He also denied two charges of sexual assault by penetration of her anus with his penis and one count of sexual assault by penetration of her mouth with his penis. The charges relate to a period between October 2011 and June 2014.
The trial continues.