By Sonya McLean
The trial of a man accused of falsely imprisoning and raping a teenage girl has reached closing stages at the Central Criminal Court.
The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment in a Dublin suburb on August 21, 2017.
The now 19-year-old complainant, who gave evidence via video link, told the trial that she sneaked out of her home that night after she had been grounded by her mother.
She said she was alone in her local town when the accused man approached her. She alleges the man raped her after she went to his home.
The complainant told the trial that afterwards the man left the room and closed the door.
She said she couldn’t leave as there was no door handle on her side.
She said at one point the accused left the room to have a shower but he didn’t close the door properly and she “took her chance and left”.
Gardaí were alerted to the alleged incident after the girl told a teacher in November 2017.
The man was interviewed by gardaí in February 2018.
The man told gardaí that the girl only left his home when he threw her out after she had asked if she could stay later.
He claimed that he believed the then 15-year-old girl was aged “in her twenties”.
He repeatedly denied raping the girl or sexually assaulting her.
He said he woke up at 9 or 10 the next morning and she was asleep beside him.
He told gardaí the girl asked to stay until 4 or 5pm that evening and that he agreed.
He said she asked to stay on later that evening but he then told her to leave.
The complainant told the jury that she got on a train that evening, after leaving the man’s house, where she met a friend who told her that her family was looking for her.
The pair then went to a garda station and the girl’s family was contacted.
She told the trial that she told her brothers that she had been raped when she returned home that evening.
She directed her brothers to the man’s apartment and the jury heard evidence that they then assaulted the accused.
The jury has heard closing speeches from both prosecution and defence barristers and are currently being charged in relation to the law surrounding the case by Mr Justice Paul McDermott.