herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Gardai probe woman's taxi rape claims

Gardai have launched an investigation into an alleged sex attack by a taxi driver on a passenger who claims she was attacked while on the way home from a popular Dublin city nightclub.

The 32-year-old woman has told gardai that she left the club at around 3am on September 19 and went to a takeaway on Camden Street with a pal.

She then got into a waiting taxi at the roadside to travel home.

The woman told investigators she then remembered waking up a short time later in the back seat of the taxi to find the driver had been having sex with her and was still on top of her.

The woman told gardai she begged the man to stop and told him to bring her home.

She then contacted gardai and was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the Rotunda Hospital where an examination determined that sexual intercourse had taken place.

The woman who made the complaint could only tell gardai that her alleged attacker was a foreign national.

Gardai began a search for the cab driver and arrested a man on September 23 after door-to-door enquiries and a trawl of CCTV footage.

examined

The man was questioned and later released without charge while a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions on the alleged sexual assault.

His car is also understood to have been forensically examined by gardai.

Gardai fear a number of sexual assaults by taxi drivers on drunk passengers may go unreported because the victims may feel both trauma and shame following such attacks.

But a garda spokesperson said gardai want to help victims and encouraged them to report attacks to help prevent others from suffering a similar ordeal.

They also advised people that while the vast majority of taxi journeys are perfectly safe, they should try to avoid situations where they could be in a taxi on their own if they are tired after a night out, and to travel in groups.

They also advised friends not to let friends who have drank a lot of alcohol to travel home alone.

cfeehan@independent.ie

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