Charges dropped against man accused of Jason Derulo tour bus rape

Second accused remains on trial for alleged sex attack on woman after Cork concert

Mr Justice Paul Butler ruled there was insufficient evidence against the 44-year-old defendant.  Photograph: Collins Courts.

Mr Justice Paul Butler ruled there was insufficient evidence against the 44-year-old defendant. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

Charges against one of two men accused of raping a woman after a Jason Derulo concert have been dropped after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

The complainant alleged in the Central Criminal Court that a 35-year-old man, identified as “cap guy”, blocked her from getting off the US singer’s tour bus.

She claims he brought her upstairs, where he raped her, orally and vaginally, while they were “half in, half out of a bunk bed.”

She claimed a second defendant, who is 44, identified as the “larger man”, came over at one point and also raped her.

The woman said she was terrified and asked them to stop, but they did not. She said she managed to make her escape after a third man came over and said “I’m next.”

The 35-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to rape, oral rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment of the then 19-year-old woman at an unknown location in Cork city on June 27th, 2014.

The 44-year-old man had pleaded not guilty to anal rape and false imprisonment of the woman on the same occasion. The men cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The court heard Mr Derulo is not charged with any offence in relation to the events.

Insufficient evidence

After legal argument, trial judge Mr Justice Paul Butler ruled there was insufficient evidence against the 44-year-old defendant.

Tim O’Leary SC, prosecuting, then told the court the DPP was withdrawing the charges against the man and Mr Justice Butler said he was free to go.

Earlier in the trial, Sean Guerin SC, who is defending the 35-year-old, said his client accepts he had sex with the complainant but does not accept consent was absent.

On Wednesday, the complainant’s cousin, who was out with her on the night of the alleged incident, told the jury one of the singer’s team told women attending the after gig party in a nightclub: “I’ve already picked my two girls.”

She also said that every man left the nightclub and headed for the tour bus holding hands with a woman who had attended the after gig party.

She told the jury that the complainant remarked to one of Jason Derulo’s entourage: “You know us, can we go on the bus?”

The witness said they then boarded the tour bus, but she left soon afterwards and rang and texted the complainant telling her to get off the bus as it was going to Dublin.

The jury then viewed CCTV of the complainant and friends leaving the nightclub and walking down an alley in the direction of the tour bus.

The witness agreed with Mr Guerin when he described the complainant as striding towards the tour bus “as fast as a woman can go in those heels, in that surface, in the rain” in the CCTV footage.

The trial also heard from a Garda detective who took the complaint’s first formal statement to gardaí hours after the alleged incident, and also took her second statement, given 10 days later.

Contradictory

Mr Guerin asked the detective if she had ever come across a case when the formal statement of a complainant, taken immediately after an incident, has been “simply cast to one side and not included in the book of evidence”.

The witness replied that she had never been involved in a case where that had happened prior to this one. She told the court she was now aware that what the complainant said in her first and second statements, particularly regarding the order in which sexual acts occurred, were contradictory.

“I can’t say now why I didn’t go back to her and clarify, but at the time I was happy that I had enough detail,” she said.

The court also heard from a garda who sat in a patrol car with the complainant and took notes of the alleged incident before alerting colleagues not to allow the tour bus to depart the scene.

She told the jury that an informal ID parade was carried out in the car park of the Anglesea Street Garda station in Cork as all males who were aboard the bus at the time of the alleged incident disembarked.

“She (the complainant) tipped me on the arm when the defendant got off the bus. I then arrested him at 5.38am,” she said.

A Garda inspector told the court that when he boarded the vehicle he recognised Jason Derulo.

“He came up and introduced himself, I recognised him, I knew him from the TV. He introduced me to the brother of his too.”

The inspector said that all those onboard the bus vacated it immediately in a very co-operative manner.

“I had no issue with anyone on the night,” he said.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Butler and a jury of 10 men and two women.