Man goes on trial in Cork for rape of woman who has since died
State proceeding with prosecution because of other witnesses in the case
The man at the centre of the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork is charged with two counts of rape and three counts of aggravated sexual assault.
The man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, denied a total of six charges including one count of oral rape and one count of vaginal rape at a house in Cork city on January 14th, 2017.
He denied three counts of aggravated sexual assault and also denied a sixth charge that when he appeared to be about to commit the offence of rape, he produced a broken wine bottle capable of inflicting serious injury and did so in a manner likely to intimidate the injured party.
Opening the prosecution case at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, Alice Fawsitt SC said that unfortunately the complainant in the case had died but the State was proceeding with the prosecution because of other witnesses in the case.
She said the woman gave information to gardaí about the incident but what she said was not admissible as she was now deceased and could not be cross-examined so it was now hearsay and could not be presented in court.
Ms Fawsitt gave an outline of the evidence that the State expects to call in the case, relating how the complainant and the accused had met in Cork city one afternoon in January 2017 and had spent some time together before going to visit an acquaintance living in a rented house.
The accused and the complainant, who were both battling addiction issues, spent the night at the acquaintance’s rented house, sleeping downstairs in chairs while the man, who was renting the property and also had addiction issues, slept upstairs in his own bedroom, said Ms Fawsitt.
She said there was no question of any sexual relations between the woman and the accused at that stage or on any other occasion save when she alleged that he raped her and sexually assaulted her in the house a day or so later on the night of January 14th, 2017.
The State said it would call evidence from the tenant that he went out of the room for a period and heard the woman protesting and when he returned, she was crying and he then saw the accused lick the woman and put his penis into the woman’s mouth and vagina.
The woman later went to gardaí and made a complaint and she was taken to the sexual assault clinic at the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital for examination while gardaí went to the rented house where they found broken glass and a pair of torn knickers beside the bed.
Ms Fawsitt said the accused was later arrested and questioned by gardaí when he accepted he had sexual relations with the woman but said it was consensual whereas the State would argue that while the woman submitted to the acts, she did not consent to them.
The case continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women.