By Eimear Dodd
A man accused of raping his wife’s friend in a park almost five years ago has denied developing a “sexual fixation” on the woman.
The Dublin man (55), who can’t be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to rape in September 2019 in a park.
It is the State’s case that the man raped the woman in a park while walking her home after a party at his house.
The man denies any wrongdoing.
During cross-examination last Friday, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, asked the accused if he was “developing some type of sexual fixation” on the complainant during the party.
He replied: “I don’t know”.
The man continued, “I can honestly say I did not rape her, 100%.
My intention was not to rape her, and I didn’t rape her”.
When asked again if he’d had “a sexual fixation” on her, the man replied, “It was on both sides”.
Earlier in his direct evidence, the man told defence counsel Dominic McGinn SC that there was “closeness” between him and the complainant, which included kissing and flirting years before the night of the party.
He said there was consensual sexual intercourse in the park that night.
He said they were in contact by text with “flirting” and messaging of a sexual nature.
He said he didn’t tell gardai when interviewed that he had sexual contact with the complainant on the night in question as he was in a “state of shock”.
He said he agreed when his wife asked him to walk the complainant home after the party.
He said the woman stumbled and then kissed him around two minutes into their walk, but he said, “Stop”.
They then continued to walk while chatting and flirting.
When they reached the park, he said the woman sat down to rest.
He said he “got down on my hunkers” to get her to continue home when she leaned towards him and opened his trousers.
He said the woman took his penis in her mouth, but he told her to stop.
He said the woman replied, “Come on, no one will know”.
He said the woman lay back on the grass and said, “ok, let’s go all the way”.
While he initially refused, he said they did have consensual sex.
He said the woman said, “I have you now”, afterwards but was abusive after he asked her to explain the comment.
They each then went home.
The man said they met the next morning, agreeing they both felt terrible and would put what had happened behind them.
During cross-examination, he denied a suggestion that he’d “told lots of lies” about what happened.
The man agreed he did give several versions of events to gardai, some of which weren’t true.
He rejected that his claim the woman sexually assaulted him when she performed oral sex was not true.
He accepted that he lied when he said he couldn’t remember having sex or that it occurred accidentally.
The man said he “blanked the situation” due to panic while in the garda station.
Mr Gillane put it to him that this was “another lie” and he was “as cool as the proverbial cucumber” while in the garda station, which the man denied.
He said he was “panicked” about the situation and embarrassed about his wife finding out.
He added that he felt “we dealt with it between the two of us”.
Mr Gillane suggested to him that the “level of detail in your lies is astonishing”, then asked why his evidence now described a sexual relationship arising with the complainant “out of romance”.
After a long pause, the man replied: “It did”.
When asked to elaborate on this romance, he said they exchanged texts and had kissed on several occasions.
He then insisted that the complainant knew he was sending her messages and also told him to delete these messages.
Mr Gillane suggested to the man that he was “lying through his teeth” when he said the complainant told him to delete these messages, given her evidence.
On Wednesday, the woman said she’d been receiving messages from an unknown number for several years, some of which were sexually graphic, and only became aware the accused was the sender after she made a complaint to gardai about the alleged rape.
The man repeated his evidence that the woman told him to delete messages.
Mr Gillane noted that the woman received messages from the accused during the party.
He suggested this was more consistent with her evidence that she didn’t know who the sender was rather than a meeting being arranged.
He insisted a relationship existed with the complainant but agreed that there was no explicit reference in these messages to a meeting between them in the park.
He said it was “totally incorrect” when Mr Gillane suggested there was nothing to support a relationship of any kind between him and the complainant.
Mr Gillane put to the man that he was demeaning about the complainant when interviewed by gardai.
“I wasn’t demeaning. I was telling it as it was,” he replied.
Referring to the man’s first garda interview, Mr Gillane noted that he described the woman as very drunk and making comments such as “take me” and “fuck you if you’re not going to get busy with this”. The man said this was true.
Prosecuting counsel suggested the phrase “you’re not going to get busy with this” sounded like it was from a “rap song or a fantasy” rather than a romance.
The man said he didn’t know what the complainant meant.
He added she said, “You are not going to get away with this’”.
The trial continues.