Suspended sentence and fine for student who made 'wicked' false rape claim

A Brazilian student has been given a three-month suspended sentence and a €600 fine for an “elaborate hoax” in which she claimed she had been raped by two men in Dublin.

Thais Regina De Oliveira, 21, who had been residing with her boyfriend and other flatmates at Cabra Park in Dublin, pleaded guilty today to making a false statement to officers at Mountjoy garda station on August 25 last.

She claimed two men attacked her and gave a detailed description leading to a 12-day manhunt, a photo-fit being distributed and technical examinations.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Anthony Halpin described her crime as wicked, heinous and depraved and he said these offences deter real victims from coming forward. However, he ruled that a jail sentence was not appropriate in this case.

He also praised the “outstanding work” of Det Garda Kevin Keyes and his colleagues at Mountjoy Garda station saying their response to the incident sets a precedent for other police forces.

The student's lies came after she had been under financial pressure to pay her way and she pretended she had found a job. Her lawyer said she really spent some nights “wandering the streets” having let on she had gone to work, but on the night of the offence, it had been raining heavily and she needed an excuse to go home.

The English language student could not tell her friends she had been robbed because she had already left her phone and her wallet in the house, so instead she inflicted injuries on herself and told her friends that she had been raped.

Defence counsel Keith Spencer said that she not intended for gardaí to become involved.

However, once her friends heard her story, “the genie was out of the bottle” and they alerted Mountjoy garda station who dispatched officers within five minutes.

In evidence, Det Gda Kevin Keyes told Judge Halpin he received a report to go to a flat in Cabra where he met De Oliveira.

“She alleged that she had been assaulted, dragged down a lane-way at Cabra Park and subsequently raped,” he said. She claimed she had been on her way to work in a pub in Temple Bar when she passed three males who engaged her in a brief conversation.

She claimed that two of them dragged her down the lane and raped her. She had left her shoes and leggings at the scene and alleged to gardaí that her underwear was taken by the perpetrator.

Following her claim, she was brought to a sexual assault treatment unit. It emerged two days later that the pub where she claimed to work did not exist. She brought gardaí to Temple Bar and pointed out a bar where she said she was employed but “the manager never heard of her”.

Read more here.

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