The man who denied raping and intimidating a Kerry prostitute was convicted on all charges by the unanimous verdict of a jury.
The jury of six men and six women who were sworn in to hear the case two weeks ago at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork took three hours and 20 minutes to deliver their verdicts on all four counts – two of rape, one of organising prostitution and one of intimidating the complainant.
The defence claimed that the prosecution had characterised the accused as a “low grade pimp.”
Mr Justice Michael White remanded the 26-year-old in custody for sentencing on February 1 2021.
The victim hugged one of the female detectives who investigated the case when the verdicts were delivered. The accused made no visible reaction to the convictions. His girlfriend wept and handed a prison officer a small rucksack for the now convicted rapist as he was taken into custody.
While there was evidence of the man intimidating the 34-year-old victim shortly after the rapes more than three years ago, the detective sergeant leading the investigation gave evidence of a more recent act of alleged intimidation.
By way of objection to bail, the detective said that on the afternoon of October 3 last, the victim was driving in Kerry near her home when she saw the accused in his car with his girlfriend. “She alleged he knew it was her and he put up the middle finger of his right hand to her as she passed and she felt in fear,” the detective said. Mr Cody SC said, “I am instructed that did not occur.” Mr Justice White said he was not taking this allegation into account when refusing bail.
The judge said, “The reality is that he has been convicted on very serious criminal offences and the reality is he will have to receive a very substantial custodial sentence. It is not appropriate to remand him on bail. It has to be a remand in custody.”
On the application of Roisín Lacey SC for the prosecution, Mr Justice White formally directed the preparation of a victim impact statement.
On Mr Cody’s application he directed a psychologist’s report on the defendant.
In the course of the two-week trial, the jury were given evidence of the garda interviews with the accused in which he admitted getting his girlfriend to arrange for herself and her mother to lie to gardaí in relation to alibi evidence for the accused on the date of the rapes – September 25 2017. Both women later admitted they lied, and the defendant admitted being responsible for their lies.
Ultimately, he told gardaí that he had vaginal and anal sex with her as she described but that it was typical of their sexual relationship and it was consensual. The jury did not believe it was consensual and believed the victim when she told them she and the defendant had consensual rough sex of different kinds in the year before this but that on this date, not alone did she not consent but she bawled her eyes out and begged him to stop.
He was convicted of two counts of rape – vaginal and anal – in the course of the same incident.
The complainant said that on September 25 2017 he caught her and put her over his shoulders and brought her upstairs in her home, threw her on the bed and raped her vaginally and anally. She said that she cried hysterically and asked him to stop. “I was bawling,” she said, adding she was in “a state.”
He was convicted of organising prostitution.
The victim testified, “He was the boss of my prostitution.”
She had been a sex worker before she met the defendant but he organised her business and instructed her to give all the money to him and she was paid each Thursday from this. She thought her cut was 70/30 or 60/40. But she said he would ‘fine’ her or ‘tax’ her if she missed an appointment or was drunk when a client arrived.
The intimidation included a Snapchat “drawing of a headless person hanging from a tree and a naked man wearing a crown holding aloft the severed head of a female, and the words, karma, suffer and c***,” and another message with the words, “I guess it takes a special kind of rape victim to want to stay close to her rapist.”