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MAN 'RAPED DOWN GIRL IN HIS FLAT' Court hears of legal consent issues.

Byline: CONOR GALLAGHER

A MAN has gone on trial accused of raping a mentally impaired woman in his city centre flat.

The woman, who is in her 20s and has Down syndrome, was out jogging with her mother near their Dublin home when they became separated.

The accused is alleged to have stopped the woman before bringing her back to his flat and raping her.

A jury at the Central Criminal Court was told it will hear the woman left the property in a distressed state and returned home.

Gardai were alerted and she was able to show them the accused's apartment.

The man has denied rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person on June 12, 2013.

Prosecutor Caroline Biggs told the jury a person cannot consent to sex if they do not have the capacity to consent. Regarding the charge of sex with a mentally impaired person, Ms Biggs said the prosecution would have to prove sex or attempted sex took place and the person was mentally impaired at the time.

She said the law states a person is mentally impaired if they cannot live independently or protect themselves from exploitation.

But she added it is a valid defence for an accused to claim he "did not know and had no reason to suspect" the person was mentally impaired.

The court heard the accused would say he had consensual sexual contact with the woman but maintains he did not know she was mentally impaired.

Legal arguments will be heard until Monday when the trial resumes.

news@irishmirror.ie

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2015
Words:263
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