Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Eimear Dodd

Three men have gone on trial for the alleged rape and sexual assault of a teenager in a hotel car park six years ago.

The trial of the three men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has opened at the Central Criminal Court and is expected to last for six weeks.

The first defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. A second defendant (23) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape, one count of oral rape and two counts of sexual assault. The third defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and one count of oral rape.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on December 20th, 2017, at a hotel car park in the Leinster area.

The complainant, who was 17 at the time, told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, on Tuesday that she left her home at around 6pm after a friend texted her to go for a drive. The complainant said her friend did not initially tell her with whom they were going for a drive, but she expected it would be her friend’s cousin.

The complainant said her friend told her when they met up that they were going to go for a drive with boys she knew. The complainant said her friend used her phone to contact the boys. She also heard them use a slang word for sex while talking to her friend, who said no.


The complainant was socialising with friends when a car pulled up with four male passengers. She said she was told the name of one boy, but she did not know who they were at that point.

Her friend and another person went to the car and the complainant said her friend called her over. The complainant said her friend initially refused requests to get into the car, but subsequently followed her friend when she got into the car.

“She’s my friend, I didn’t want to see her going on her own,” the complainant said.

She said they drove for a while, then stopped outside a house. She got out of the car and said the boys “all panicked” and told her to get back in. She said one of the four boys got out of the car and got into another vehicle.

The complainant told Ms Fawsitt that she did not know where she was, but saw signs for the area and the hotel. When the car drove into the grounds of the hotel, it drove onto a “country road” into a “big open land” with “nothing in it”.

The complainant said she got out of the car and walked away as she was “scared”.

She said the first defendant stopped her, then kissed her. He undid her jeans, put his hands down her trousers and touched her vagina. The woman said she was shocked when he undid her belt.

The complainant said she refused when the first defendant asked her for sex. She said he did not listen to her and took her to the car.

He then got her to sit in the front passenger seat and attempted to remove her trousers. She said she stopped him and removed the trousers herself. She said she continued to tell him no, but he did nott listen. The first defendant then got on top of her and attempted to have sex with her, she said.

The complainant said the second defendant then got into the car and asked for a threesome. She said no, but he took her hand and “used it to give himself a w*nk”. She said the first defendant was still having sex with her at this point.

When the first defendant was finished, the complainant said the second defendant then had sex with her and also used his fingers.

The woman said the second defendant then asked her for oral sex, which she refused. She said he kept asking her and was becoming aggressive. She said: “I did it because I was afraid he was going to hurt me”.

After this, the complainant said the third defendant then asked her for oral sex, and she initially refused. She said she then did it as “he kept saying it and getting more aggressive”.

She said the third defendant instructed her to get into the back seat, which she did, and he then had sex with her.

The complainant said she does not recall seeing her friend during this time, but remembers the second car had arrived at the same location.


The trial also heard that two days after the alleged incident, the complainant told her mother what had happened and they went to gardaí on December 27th, 2017.

Opening the trial, Ms Fawsitt told the jury they were only being asked to consider the allegations made by the complainant about the three defendants.

She said they would hear evidence outlining how the cars stopped at a service station following the alleged incident. The complainant messaged a friend to tell her to watch for her location and later went to that friend’s house.

A compilation of CCTV and a number of still images taken from the CCTV were shown to the jury.

Jurors were also shown photos taken of the hotel, the car park and the surrounding area by a garda scenes of crime officer.

A garda technical officer told Michael O’Higgins SC, representing the first defendant, that CCTV did not show the two women entering the service station.

She also agreed that the CCTV from the hotel showed vehicles moving in the car park.

The trial continues on Friday before Ms Justice Melanie Greally and a jury.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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