The young man who was put on trial for raping a 16-year-old girl in a dugout at a County Cork sports ground when he was just a year older than her was found not guilty by a jury today.
The eight men and four women spent a total of approximately three hours deliberating before delivering their verdict of not guilty to the two charges on the indictment of rape and sexual assault.
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.
She testified that she agreed to meet him before 6pm on January 7 2017 because he wanted to tell her something serious about his family. She said he told her that her boyfriend – his brother – was cheating on her with someone else.
The defendant also expressed his own feelings for her, that he loved her and he was sorry he did not go out with her two years previously. She said he kept saying he wanted to kiss her, using the word, shifting.
“He said to look at him and I kissed him because I was scared… The next thing that happens he said he would like to have sex with me,” she said.
She said he put her on top of him in the dugout and started pulling down her jeans and his own pants. She said he rubbed her vagina, put his penis in her vagina, put her against the wall standing with his penis in her.
“I got really upset and started crying. He pulled out and said, ‘Sorry, I can’t’,” she testified.
She said he did not ejaculate.
When he gave his direct evidence to defence senior counsel James O’Mahony the defendant said he lied about exchanging nude images with the complainant because he was embarrassed for his father to hear about this in the garda station.
However, the defendant confirmed during the trial that they did share such images previously.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott thanked the jury for the attention they had given to the case which went on at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork throughout last week.