The young man accused of raping a girl when both of them were teenagers admitted for the first time today that they had exchanged intimate pictures two years earlier and that he had lied to investigating gardaí.
Prosecution senior counsel Alice Fawsett cross-examined the accused and said that his evidence in the witness box that the parties had exchanged nude images was the first time he had ever admitted that this occurred. The defendant agreed.
The prosecution senior counsel challenged the accused on many of the details from the memo of the garda interview with the defendant.
“Everything in this is a lie,” Ms Fawsett suggested.
The accused man replied, “Most of it, yes.”
When the memo of the interview was read over to him in his local garda station he did not say that any of it was untrue.
Asked about this today at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, he said, “I knew I was lying. I should have retracted my statement. I did not want to disappoint my (father) so I just said, yes, I was happy with it.”
When he gave his direct evidence to defence senior counsel James O’Mahony today the defendant said he did also tell the gardaí things that are true: “I told them I did not rape (complainant).”
He said he lied about other things gardaí put to him, for instance about exchanging nude images with the complainant, because he was embarrassed. He said he was embarrassed for his father to hear about this in the garda station.
Asked why he said he met the complainant when she was with her boyfriend (the defendant’s brother), rather than saying that he met her alone on the occasion of the disputed incident, he replied, “I think I just panicked. I was very agitated – the situation at the time – I don’t remember what I said exactly.”
The defendant said later, “I continued with the lie. I should not have, I should have just told the truth.”
Asked at another point about lying he said, “I suppose it was a coping mechanism I had.”
Mr O’Mahony SC concluded his direction examination of the defendant with a series of short questions:
“Did you have sex with (complainant) against her will?”
He replied, “No I did not.”
“Did you kiss her without her permission?”
He said, “No.”
“Did you kiss her at all (on January 7 2017)?”
He replied, “No.” “Did you put your finger in her vagina?”
He said, “No I did not put my fingers in her vagina.”
During his examination today the defendant also denied pulling down his pants and the complainant’s pants.
The complainant was 16 and the accused was 17 at the time of the alleged rape in County Cork.
The accused who is now 21 pleaded not guilty to raping her on January 7 2017 by having sexual intercourse with her without her consent or being reckless as to whether she did consent.
He also pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting her on the same occasion by putting his fingers in her vagina.
The case continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of eight men and four women.