Rape crisis centre head unsurprised rape jury asked to consider underwear worn by complainant

The head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeline Blackwell has hit out at the use of 'rape stereotypes' in rape trials.

She was reacting to the comments of a barrister representing a man acquitted of raping a teenager in Cork who suggested the jury in the case should reflect on the underwear worn by the 17 year old woman.

Noeline Blackwell

The 27 year old man - who had denied raping the woman in a laneway in Cork - was found not guilty by the jury of eight men and four women at the Central Criminal Court.

In her closing address, Senior Counsel Elizabeth O’Connell told the jury they should have regard for the fact that the woman was wearing a thong with a lace front.

CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeline Blackwell says unfortunately she wasn't surprised this language was used.

"When someone goes into court as a complainant ... they are likely to be asked that and are likely to worry about it.

"All of these things are rape stereotypes that are used by defendants to plant a doubt in the minds of a jury taking away from the law which is that sex without consent is a crime."

Digital Desk


Related Articles

Rape trial underwear evidence - Under scrutiny

Rally to be held in Cork following lacy thong comments in rape case

Complainants in rape cases should have access to legal advice, says judge

More in this Section

Former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wins Tipperary Peace Award

Children in Cork residential care centre pepper-sprayed during call out by gardaí, report finds

PSNI find weapons haul on top of hot boiler which caught fire in Belfast

High Court orders couple to remove protective seawall breakwater that blocked public access to beach


Breaking Stories

Wishlist: Colour Christmas gifts for the home

Live by the book or create your own wonderful outlook

Interiors are brought back to book

Significant winter auctions of Irish art are under way

More From The Irish Examiner