Man accused of rape says woman seeking asylum made allegations to stay in State

Woman alleges man raped her a number of times after they met at a mosque, court hears

 The man told the court a ceremony took place at the mosque blessing a sexual relationship between the pair, which was not a marriage. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The man told the court a ceremony took place at the mosque blessing a sexual relationship between the pair, which was not a marriage. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

A man accused of raping a woman he had been introduced to through his mosque suggested to gardaí­that she made the allegation so she could stay in Ireland while it was being investigated.

The Central Criminal Court trial has already heard that the 36-year-old woman sought asylum in Ireland to avoid an arranged marriage in her native country.

The complainant has testified that after a ceremony took place between her and the accused, the man took her back to his flat and raped her a number of times over the course of three days.

The 54-year-old man claimed that the woman was lying and said that they had taken part in a ceremony called Nikah before they had sex. He described Nikah as “a freedom to have a sexual relationship with a blessing from the mosque” but not a legally binding marriage.

He said that over the course of that weekend he and the complainant had sex a number of times and claimed that on occasion the complainant instigated it.

When the gardai­ put the woman’s statement to the accused, in which she outlined many rape allegations, the man said she was a liar.

He said that the woman told him she came to Ireland because the immigration laws here were weak. He suggested that the reason she said he had raped her was because it would mean she could stay in Ireland while it was being investigated.

The man told gardaí that when he was first introduced to the woman she said she wanted marriage and babies and he claimed that she proposed to him. He said he told her his divorce had not come through so he could not marry her.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape, one of sexual assault and one of attempted rape of the woman in his Dublin home on various occasions over the weekend of December 1st to December 3rd, 2017.

Meeting

The woman earlier testified that on a visit to Ireland in November 2017 she decided to seek asylum here in order to flee from an arranged marriage in her home country.

She travelled to Dublin to file an application with the International Protection Office (IPO). She was told about a particular centre who could help her and a contact in this centre then told her about a mosque in Dublin.

She said she became aware that there was a service that was provided to the Muslim community where they could arrange meetings between people who were interested in getting married. She was introduced to the accused through this mosque and they met a number of times.

During interviews with gardaí the man said he had never heard that a husband and a wife can have a rape allegation between them. He said to him rape cases involve someone getting kidnapped and then raped.

The man told gardai­that the evening after the ceremony he hugged the woman to say goodnight and she started kissing him. He said he didn’t want to have sex because his daughter was in the house but he said they tried but he couldn’t get an erection.

He said instead she performed oral sex on him. He said he told the woman he needed Viagra to have sex with her.

The man said the following night they tried to have sex again and in a number of different positions. He said the woman came back to him again in the middle of the night and she tried to have sex with him again.

The man said after that weekend he never saw the woman again. He said there were a number of WhatsApp calls but he never met with her again.

The man’s 15-year-old daughter told Eanna Mulloy SC, defending, that she first met the complainant on November 30th, 2017, the day before the first rape allegation.

She said her father picked her up from a dance class and the woman was in the front seat of the car.

He introduced her as a woman he knew from the mosque. She said they had dinner together that night and the following night and there was general conversation between them.

She said the woman slept in her bedroom that first night after she told the then 11-year-old that she had no home. The teenager told the jury she spoke to her father about this and told him that she didn’t mind if the woman stayed with them.

She said on the Saturday morning she went downstairs on waking up and found her father with the complainant cooking breakfast. She and the woman shared a joke about her father’s bad cooking and brought her dog for a walk.

She said the woman spoke to her about her dancing and plaited her hair. Her father and the woman then brought her to her mother’s home and she never saw the complainant again.

Justice Alex Owens asked the teenager if her father ever mentioned to her that Friday evening that he had gone to the mosque with the complainant or “if there was any mention of any religious ceremony”.

The girl replied “No”.

The trial has now reached its closing stages before Mr Justice Owens and the jury are currently hearing closing speeches from the prosecution and defence.