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Jury in trial of two Kerry men accused of rape and sexual assault could begin deliberations

Jan 25, 2023 08:01 By radiokerrynews
Jury in trial of two Kerry men accused of rape and sexual assault could begin deliberations Jury in trial of two Kerry men accused of rape and sexual assault could begin deliberations
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The jury in the trial of two Kerry men accused of rape and sexual assault could begin their deliberations later today.

The two men, who are both teenagers but cannot be named, are accused of raping and sexually assaulting a young woman in a rural location in Kerry in 2020, when she was 16 years old.

The Central Criminal Court trial has been proceeding at Tralee courthouse before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath.

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One of the accused, who the court heard was in an on-off relationship with the complainant at the time, faces five charges including rape and sexual assault relating to the one night that summer.

The court was told that the co-accused was not known to the complainant at the time, and he faces three charges of sexual assault from the night in question.

 

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Yesterday’s proceedings began with the closing argument from Senior Counsel for the co-accused, Séamus Clarke, with Katie O’Connell, instructed by solicitor Eimear Griffin.

It’s alleged that the complainant was raped and sexually assaulted in a wooded area close to the complainant’s home, after she and a friend had sneaked out of the house to meet them having been drinking that night.

The prosecution argues that the sexual activity was not consensual, and the complainant was too intoxicated to consent.

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The complainant gave evidence earlier in the trial that she was just drunk and clueless in the middle of the two men as she was raped and sexually assaulted.

Closing for the co-accused, Mr Clarke said the jury’s decision in the drunkenness of the complainant will be pivotal.

He said his client argues she was not so intoxicated as to be incapable of consenting, but she actually in fact gave consent, and he said a person has to be so intoxicated as to be insensible in the eyes of the law to not be capable of consenting.

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Mr Clarke said all sexual activity which involved his client, the co-accused, occurred at a stage where the jury can be satisfied she was not intoxicated to be insensible, and mentioned the complainant had a phone call with her mother around that time where she had sounded “tipsy”.

He said his client played a very minor role in what he describes as a consensual threesome, and which the court heard the complainant may have originally said yes to, as a joke.

Mr Justice Michael MacGrath then told the jury what their responsibilities are in a legal sense, and explained the charges of which the men are accused.

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He began to read over the transcript of evidence which the jury has heard in the last week, and will continue doing so this morning.

After the judge is finished giving his charge to the jury, the jury will begin deliberating.

 

 

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