Posted February 09, 2018 05:32:27A man’s cell phone was stolen from his home and used to lure a female stranger into a sexual encounter.
The man and woman, both in their 30s, were walking home from a pub at about 11:30pm on December 3, when a man came out of a garage.
The victim and his girlfriend had been out with friends and he was having a drink with the victim.
They went to the front of the pub and saw the man with a female friend.
The woman said: “She had a cigarette and we were sitting in the corner, just chatting about what we were doing.”
As the two were talking, the woman noticed the man had a black bag on his lap and pulled out his phone and started scrolling through it.
The phone was then stolen from her hand and used by the man to lure the woman into a secluded location.
The Irish Times understands that both victims have been left traumatised.
The male victim has been in a relationship with his wife for almost a year and had no idea he had been the victim of a sexual assault.
He told gardaí: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been the target of anything like this.
I just feel completely helpless.
I don’t know what to do.”
He said he is worried the incident could have been avoided.
Gardaí have been investigating the theft of the phone for a number of months and have spoken to several people who saw the male victim with the woman and the woman with the man.
In March, garda commissioner Paul Meaney said that he was looking into the circumstances surrounding the theft and that there were “clear indications” that someone was responsible.
“This was clearly a case of someone using their phone inappropriately,” Mr Meaney told the Dáil.
The Garda Commissioner also confirmed that the matter had been referred to the National Cybercrime Unit.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has confirmed that it is investigating the matter.
In a statement, the IPCC said it had received a complaint from a woman in her 20s about a “serious” incident in which her cell phone had been stolen from the property of a man in his 40s.
The complainant said that the man, a friend, had left the property and had not returned.
The IPCC said the incident was described as “an extremely serious crime” and that the victim was the subject of a police investigation.
The accused was arrested by garda detectives on January 10.
He was charged with theft and burglary and garda constables have charged him with sexual activity with a person under the age of 16.
The case will be referred to District Court for a pre-trial hearing.