Woman in sex assault case feared being ‘judged’ over events

Man (36) pleads not guilty to attacking the foreign national at UCD after Tinder meet-up

The alleged sex assault took place at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin on July 23rd 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The alleged sex assault took place at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin on July 23rd 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley


A woman who alleges she was attacked by a man she met online has said she feared that people would judge her for getting into a stranger’s car.

A 36-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the foreign national at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin on July 23rd 2014.

On Wednesday, the English language student, now aged 35, testified that after some weeks of communicating with the man on the Tinder dating programme she agreed to meet him.

She said he picked her up in his car and drove her to a green area with nobody around. She said he then “changed completely”, becoming aggressive and sexually assaulting her.

On Thursday, the woman continued giving her evidence. She told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that after the alleged attack she got a taxi back to her flat in Dublin city centre.

She said she met her flatmate and he asked her did something serious happen.

“I was in shock and he could see that clearly,” she said. She told the court that she explained the situation to him but they couldn’t go to gardaí­ because they had very little English.

She said that same night she rang the manager of the agency that organised the English course she was attending. He advised her to rest for the night and go to gardaí­ in the morning.

She testified that she couldn’t get any sleep that night because she was in shock. She was thinking about what to do, what she would tell her parents.

She said she thought “how people would judge me, getting inside a stranger’s car or even using Tinder”. She said the next morning she went to the agency but the manager was not there so she went on to her classes.

She told the court that the teacher had a daily habit of asking people to talk about their previous day. When he asked her she burst into tears, she told the jury.

Later, the student testified that she never told the man she would have sex with him.

Under cross-examination by defence barrister Paul Flannery SC, the complainant said she was stupid when she didn’t terminate her online conversations with the accused after he had sent her explicit messages.

She said when she arrived in Ireland to learn English she went on Tinder to meet Irish people. She said she knew that Tinder was used by some people to have consensual casual sex but that her motive was to practice English.

She met the defendant and they began sending each other texts. She said she didn’t understand when he wrote “are you good kisser ha?”.

He later wrote “I will teach you many things about what a man and woman can do together if you want to”. The witness agreed that this suggested that “maybe he wanted sex”.

Her reply to this text was “calm, I speak seriously”. She told the court that she thought this would be enough to tell him “I don’t want this, I want to learn”.

The man then texted her “well I only want to fuck you” and she replied with a “sad face”. Counsel put it to the witness that it was very clear from this text that “what this man wants is sex”.

Asked why she didn’t end the conversation then, the complainant said: “Because I’m stupid”.

The jury heard that her reply to the defendant was “that was rude, I’m a good person, not a whore” and he apologised.

He then wrote “I’m a porn star” and later “I’ve love to kiss you softly and then fuck you hard, deep and fast”. The witness said she thought he was joking and being silly.

She said she was using Google to translate the longer sentences and it didn’t translate properly.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of six men and six women.