herald

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Garda accused of rape in station

A GARDA has been arrested and questioned about allegedly raping a vulnerable sex abuse victim in his garda station.

A garda has been arrested and questioned about allegedly raping a vulnerable sex abuse victim in his garda station. A file will now be prepared for the DPP after the officer, who is in his 40s, was released without charge.

He had been questioned for 24 hours by specialist detectives in a garda station in the midlands.

A source said: “The case against this individual is very strong. What is being alleged here is absolutely horrendous. Charges are very likely down the line."

The officer, a married man with children, who is based in the west of Ireland, is alleged to have raped his victim in the garda station. Shockingly, the garda was dealing with the victim because she had been sexually assaulted by another person. The woman, then in her teens, had come forward to report she had been the victim of an earlier sexual assault.

The rape is alleged to have happened in the west of Ireland station in 2010, after the garda built up a relationship with the woman by falsely claiming he was a family liaison officer.

The case came to light when the alleged victim told a solicitor what had happened, which led to a formal complaint and a massive investigation.

The garda at the centre of the case was arrested at his home last Thursday and quizzed at a midlands garda station before being released without charge.The case was also referred to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), which investigates complaints against members of the force.The GSOC spoke to the victim's family and is satisfied that the matter is a valid case.

The garda has been suspended from duty, but is still on full pay. He has been ordered not to have contact with his alleged victim. Sources say that, even if the DPP decides not to press charges in the case, the garda will “most likely” be sacked from the force.

The investigation into the garda's behaviour means that the woman is now a potential witness in two different sex crime inquiries. In a separate case, gardai have sent a file to the DPP in relation to a garda who allegedly raped a girl in Munster.

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