Man charged with raping Down syndrome girl said he had never heard of condition

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

A man accused of raping a woman with Down syndrome told gardaí after arrest that he had never heard of the condition.

The 34 year old also denied having sex with anyone on the day in question but said he frequently had sex with women he met on the street.

The trial has heard that the woman, who is in her twenties, became separated from her mother while they were out walking. The accused man found her and took her back to his home where the alleged rape took place.

The accused now admits there was some sexual contact with the woman but maintains that it was consensual and that he didn't know she was mentally impaired. He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on June 12, 2013.

Prosecuting counsel Lorcan Staines BL read out the transcripts of three garda interviews with the accused, which took place the week after the alleged rape. The accused, who is a foreign national, told officers he had lived in Ireland for several years.

He said he would walk around his area every day and meet and talk to people. He said he didn't remember talking to any woman on the street on the day of the alleged rape and that he didn't bring anyone back to his flat.

He told the interviewing garda that he “did not grab anyone.” The garda replied that nobody said he grabbed anyone and asked him why he had used the word “grab.”

When it was put to him that he raped someone with Down syndrome he said he had never heard of the condition and that he didn't know what it was.

Gardaí explained to him that it meant someone with special needs. The accused replied that someone with special needs wouldn't be able to speak. Gardaí told him people with Down syndrome were very well able to speak and that they could be very clever.

He repeatedly told gardaí to “bring this person in front of me face to face” and said that “this person is a bad person”. Officers told him he would see the woman during an identification parade but that he would not be allowed to speak to her.

He agreed that he often had sex with women he met on the street and told gardaí he had sex with “a few women” within the previous week, adding, “I have some friends”.

He said he had sex with a woman a few day previously who was “kind of like a prostitute” but that he didn't pay her. He said he had had sex with this woman a few times but that he didn't have her phone number.

“It's an awful act you've done,” Detective Garda Brian Murray put it to him during one interview. “To do it to a person you've done it to is incredible. You're a sick man. You're a sick, sick, sick man.”

“I am a true man,” the accused replied before saying that maybe the garda was a rapist. “I never make any woman have sex with me,” the man added.

He said that he couldn't remember where he walked on the day in question, to which the detective replied: “Now you're just acting the maggot, you're acting the fool. You're not helping yourself. You're not giving yourself an alibi.”

“I don't remember where I go,” the accused said.

“You'll be going to prison, that's where you'll be going,” suggested Det Gda Murray

At one point the man accused Det Gda Murray of earlier pushing him hard two or three times and throwing his shoes at his face.

“Nobody pushed you,” the detective put it to him. “Jesus, to be coming up with that story now, and you're here for rape. Coming up with that story now.”

“If you're going to tell stories, tell the truth,” the detective said.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of six men and six women.