Trail continues of Donegal man for allegedly raping teenage girl at youth disco

Central Criminal Court

 

A judge has told the jury in the trial of a then 15 year old accused of raping a 14 year old at a youth disco that an underage person could not consent to a sexual act even if they appeared to be an enthusiastic participant.

The Donegal accused allegedly pushed the 14-year-old girl into a nightclub toilet and raped her in a toilet cubicle.

The pair were seen kissing shortly before the alleged incident. The girl reported the allegations to her mother seven months later.

The man, now aged 20, is legally entitled to anonymity.

He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and sexual assault of the girl at a nightclub in a Co Donegal town on December 23, 2010.

The jury of seven men and five women began deliberating yesterday afternoon after Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan finished her charge.

She told the jury that consent was a constituent legal factor in the offence of rape but that the law says a person under 15 cannot consent. She said if the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had sex with the complainant they must convict him of rape.

She said assault was intentional unwanted touching and sexual assault was assault where the touching was of an indecent nature.

Ms Justice Heneghan said that where a person below a certain age engaged in sexual activity it would not be consent even if the person appeared an enthusiastic participant.

Peter Finley SC, defending, told the jury in his closing speech that it was not for his client to prove his innocence but for someone else to prove his guilt and this had not been done.