Special needs woman tells court how man brought her to his house to have sex with her
A jury in a rape trial has heard evidence from a special needs woman that a man brought her back to his house and had sex with her after she became separated from her mother.
Jurors were played a DVD of the woman, who is in her twenties, talking to a specialist interviewer two years ago.
The man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired individual at his Dublin flat on June 12, 2013.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt explained to the jury that it must treat the evidence given in the DVD as if it was given live from the witness box.
The woman was asked by the interviewer if she knew what a court was and if she knew the difference between truth and lies.
The interviewer said Ronan Keating was in the band One Direction and asked if this was a truth or a lie. The woman said it was a lie because he was in Boyzone.
She said a court was where bad people were sent to jail and that she understood that a judge and others might want to view her interview.
She was asked about her family and interests before being questioned about the alleged rape. The woman said she was out walking with her mother in Dublin but that they became separated.
She said a man found her and brought her back to a house. She said he took off her clothes and “we had sex and he hurt me.”
The jury will continue watching the DVD in the afternoon. The defence will have the opportunity to cross-examine the women via video-link tomorrow.
Regarding the count of rape, prosecuting counsel Caroline Biggs SC told the jury of six men and women in her opening speech that a person could not consent to sex if they did not have the capacity to consent.
Regarding the charge of sex with a mentally impaired person, Ms Biggs said the prosecution would have to prove that sex or attempted sex took place and that the person was mentally impaired at the time.
She said that the law states that a person is mentally impaired if they cannot live independently or protect themselves from serious exploitation.
It is a valid defence for an accused to claim he “did not know and had no reason to suspect” the person was mentally impaired, counsel said.