herald

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Woman 'raped by top sports star suffered severe hiding in attack'

- Alleged attack victim met star on night out before penthouse 'assault'

- Woman's clothes forensically examined after rape complaint made

The attack is alleged to have taken place in a city centre penthouse
The attack is alleged to have taken place in a city centre penthouse

An alleged rape by a high-profile sports star happened in the penthouse suite of a Dublin city centre premises, the Herald can reveal.

Gardai are investigating if a woman aged in her 20s was beaten and raped by the well-known star in the early hours of Monday morning.

Detectives from Pearse Street Garda Station are continuing to carry out a major investigation into the case.

It can also be revealed that the alleged victim has not yet given a formal statement to officers after initially making a complaint in which she claimed she was raped by the sports star while on a night out in the city centre.

The alleged incident happened between midnight and 2am on Monday.

Hospital

It has emerged that officers were made aware of the allegations after being called to the woman's South Dublin home on Monday morning.

She was then transferred by ambulance to hospital where she underwent treatment and a number of tests.

"She had suffered a severe hiding and specialist tests indicate that this woman suffered something even far worse," a senior source told the Herald last night.

As part of the investigation, gardai have taken clothes that the young woman was wearing on the night of the alleged incident to be forensically examined.

The alleged victim was treated at the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the Rotunda Hospital on Monday afternoon, leading officers to establish that the allegation was "credible".

It is understood that the woman was on a Christmas night out with pals when she met the sports star - who is known to her - in the city centre.

The star had been at a separate event in the city and met with the woman before they made their way back to the nearby penthouse suite, according to sources.

It is not known how many people may have been with them when the incident allegedly happened.

Officers were yesterday ready to trawl through CCTV footage from the area near the penthouse and track down potential eyewitnesses in a bid to establish what happened before and after the alleged events in the suite.

However, it is understood that this process cannot take place until the alleged victim makes a formal statement.

The sports star at the centre of the allegation has not been interviewed by gardai and will not be spoken to until a formal statement is made.

Gardai have been investigating whether the woman suffered a brutal physical assault in the course of the alleged rape.

Officers remained in contact with the injured woman throughout yesterday and she is understood to be extremely traumatised.

While the initial report of the alleged incident was made to officers at a South Dublin garda station, the investigation is being led by Pearse Street Garda Station because of where the alleged serious assault is reported to have occurred.

Groped

The exact location of the alleged attack has still not been determined.

Meanwhile in a separate investigation, officers from Pearse Street Garda Station are also investigating an allegation that a serving garda "groped" a woman in a pub in the Temple Bar area of Dublin late on Monday night.

The officer, who is based in Co Limerick, was arrested for a public order offence in the aftermath of the incident.

However, the incident is now subject to a wider garda investigation but not by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman (GSOC) which said the matter had not been referred to its office.

A senior source told the Herald that the young woman "reacted very strongly and in no uncertain terms" after she was allegedly groped, and the off-duty garda produced his official ID to show he was a serving officer.

However, it is understood that a GSOC member was present and witnessed the incident.

The serving officer was arrested a short time later under public order legislation.

It is understood he had been in Dublin as part of a Christmas night out.

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