9: A complaint of Abuse of Authority, resolved by Disciplinary Investigation by GSOC


Background

A woman made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman alleging rape by a member of the Garda Síochána. A second woman made a complaint as a direct witness of the alleged behaviour.
A criminal investigation was undertaken by a Garda Ombudsman investigator* and the file was referred to the DPP. No prosecution was directed. A disciplinary case** with regard to possible abuse of authority, corrupt or improper practice and discreditable conduct was subsequently opened by the Garda Ombudsman.

Action Taken

The investigation, carried out by a GSOC senior investigating officer, involved taking statements from the two women and from the garda concerned. The first complainant’s statement said that she felt compelled to have sexual intercourse with the garda concerned because he was a member of An Garda Síochána involved in a prosecution which led to her conviction for an offence and she feared further prosecution. Evidence showed that the garda had been involved in the prosecution of the two women. The garda’s statement said that the sexual intercourse had occurred subsequent to the arrest, but that it was consensual. The records of duty relevant to the garda were contradictory as regards his actual hours of duty, so it was unclear whether he was on- or off-duty at the time of the act.

Outcome

A report summarising the above findings of the investigation and making a recommendation was issued to Garda Authorities. A breach of discipline was found by Garda Authorities and a sanction applied.

*Pursuant to s.98 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

**Pursuant to s.95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.