Student faces trial over false rape claims
a BRAZILIAN student accused of making a false report to gardai claiming she had been raped in Dublin is to be tried in the district court if she pleads guilty.
Otherwise, the DPP has decided, she will have to go on trial before a judge and jury in the circuit court, which has much tougher sentencing powers and could impose a possible five-year jail term.
Regina Thais De Oliveira (20), who had been living in Cabra Park but now has an address in Blackrock, was charged last month with making a false statement to officers at Mountjoy Garda Station on August 25.
The English-language student has not yet indicated how she will plead.
She spent five days in prison on remand before she was able to take up bail which had been set at €1,000.
Yesterday, she made her fourth appearance at Dublin District Court where Judge Anthony Halpin heard that directions have been obtained in relation to the magnitude and gravity of the offence.
"The DPP has directed summary disposal on a guilty plea in this court," said Det Gda Kevin Keyes.
Defence solicitor Peter Keatings said he has not yet obtained disclosure of the prosecution's evidence, and asked the judge to order investigating gardai to hand over videotaped interviews and "any other statements".
He said he was seeking "anything the prosecution intends to rely on", including garda custody records and copies of their notebook entries.
Det Gda Keyes said that could be done before the next hearing and the judge made the disclosure order. In response to a request to relax the student's bail condition which had compelled her to sign-on daily at Blackrock Garda Station, Det Keyes said he had no objection.
She has signed on every day, he said, adding that members of Ms De Oliveira's family are now in Ireland.
The judge reduced it to three times a week and remanded her on continuing bail to appear again on a date next month when it is expected that she will tell the court how she is going to plead.
On conviction in the district court a sentence of up to one year could be imposed. However, if found guilty by a jury in the circuit court, a defendant could be jailed for up to five years for making a false report to gardai.
Ms De Oliveira, dressed in a denim shirt, dark blue jeans and black boots, did not address the court and listened to the proceedings with the assistance of a translator.
After the hearing, she went to a consultation room from which she emerged additionally wearing a red woolly hat, wig, scarf, sunglasses and black coat.