A taxi driver accused of raping two passengers tells the court: “I didn’t rape anyone.”

A taxi driver accused of raping two young women claimed the second complainant asked him “if it wasn’t included in the bill” while they were having consensual sex.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the man told gardaí in a prepared statement that the then 20-year-old woman smiled and kissed him during sex. He said she then asked, “Wasn’t that included in the bill?”

“I thought it was a joke. I said ‘no, then no’ in a joking way,” said gardai.

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The 50-year-old did not admit to raping this woman, which took place on August 9, 2022. Moreover, he denied that rape and anal rape of another woman took place in June last year.

According to the state, each young woman found herself in a taxi after a night out socializing in Dublin city center and each of them was raped by the defendant.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies the allegations and claims that any sexual contact between him and the two women was consensual.

On Tuesday, the Central Criminal Court heard that the man had been arrested at his home on August 22, 2022, in connection with the alleged rape of the second complainant on August 9. After being lectured, he replied, “I didn’t rape anyone.”

On Monday, the woman testified that she decided to catch a taxi home on August 9 in the early morning hours after meeting friends.

She testified that she fell asleep during the trip because she was tired and drunk. She said the next thing she remembered was waking up and seeing the taxi driver raping her. She testified in court that she neither solicited sex nor consented to it.

The court heard from a man who gave a written statement to gardaí during questioning, which was read to the court on Tuesday.

In his statement, which was read by prosecutor Gerardine Small SC, the man “categorically denied” the rape allegation and said any sexual contact with the woman was consensual.

He said he was working that night and a woman approached his taxi and asked if he would take her to her hometown. He agreed and she got into the back of the taxi.

He said that during the trip, they talked to the woman, telling him that her phone was dead and that this was the only way she could pay. He said he could charge his phone when he got home and then pay him.

The man said the woman had become quiet and believed she had fallen asleep during the journey. He testified that he drove around her hometown to raise the fee, which he was ashamed of.

He said he parked his car to check her address and noticed she was awake. She then leaned forward and kissed him.

He said he kissed her back and was “flattered that a younger woman was interested in him.”

He said she agreed when he asked if she wanted him to get in the backseat, where they had consensual sex.

The man told gardaí that he got out of the car when they had finished to give the woman privacy to put her clothes back on, before driving her home. The man said she laughed along the way and said, “Whatever I owe, I will pay.”

He said she went home to get a charger and then returned to her car. He saw her mother calling her from the door and the woman returned home. She then returned, took the charger and paid the fare in cash.

The man told gardaí he was “ashamed” of having cheated on his partner and that it was “not something I’m proud of”.

He said he should not have asked the woman to pay for a taxi, describing it as a “stupid thing to do”.

He repeated his claim that any sexual contact was consensual and said he had “no reason to doubt” her willingness to engage in sexual activity.

In other evidence, the jury was shown further CCTV footage and location data showing the taxi leaving the woman’s hometown and then returning to Dublin on August 9.

A Garda analyst testified that footage shown to the jury on Tuesday showed the taxi was stopped for around seven minutes at the location where the alleged rape of the complainant took place.

The surveillance video shows the man getting out of the car and then sitting in the back seat on the passenger side.

Just over six minutes later, the man exited the vehicle and returned to the driver’s seat.

The witness agreed with Lorcan Staines SC, maintaining that location data recorded the taxi stopping outside the woman’s home for approximately eight minutes.

Gardai identified the vehicle’s registration from CCTV and the taxi was stopped a few days after the alleged incident.

Gardai also confiscated a Samsung phone belonging to the man and a black Nokia phone, which was found in the glove compartment of the taxi during the search.

Investigating gardaí agreed with Mr Staines that both phones had been analyzed and the Nokia appeared to be a work phone.

The witness also confirmed that the man gave the police the password to the Samsung phone and sexual messages between the man and several other women were found on it.

DNA samples were taken from the man during his detention and his profile matched the DNA identified on samples taken during the woman’s examination.

The jury also heard testimony from a medical examiner from the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU), where the woman was examined on the afternoon of August 9.

The witness said the woman told her the man got into the back of the car, took off her clothes and had sex with her.

She also said she observed numerous bruises on the woman’s thighs and internal damage to her vagina. She told the court there was no physical damage to the vagina that would distinguish consensual sex from non-consensual sex.

The process continues.

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