Oxford medic accused of raping fellow student said ‘this is awkward’ after

The court heard he described it as ‘one of those unfortunate things that happens’

Oxford University medical student Niall McPaul has been accused of raping a fellow student.

The victim said she could have not consented to having sex with McPaul as “it was against the rules of her open relationship”.

The victim explained to police: “I was in an open relationship with my then boyfriend and we were not supposed to be involved with people in each other’s social circles.

“My boyfriend at the time knew him [McPaul], so he was off limits.”

At Oxford Crown Court yesterday the victim told the jury from behind a screen, out of sight of the accused, she had woken “up to find McPaul on top of her, raping her”. 

She also described how she was “‘eight or nine’ out of 10 in terms of drunkenness, having had a bottle and a half of wine”.

The victim had told the police: “McPaul had sat on the side of her bed following the rape and said: ‘This is one of those unfortunate things that happens.'”

The prosecutor, Matthew Walsh, opened the case by stating: “(McPaul) was on top of her and she came-to in a confused state.”

He continued: “In fact as you will hear in this case, there is no argument between the prosecution and defence about one thing – that the defendant had penetrated her vagina with his penis.

“That had taken place, he accepts that.

“What is at issue is firstly whether she was consenting to that, agreeing to it taking place, and if she was not consenting, whether the defendant reasonably believed that she was.”

Walsh also told the jury McPaul had later texted the victim to describe his behaviour as “‘inexcusable really’ and that she had told him they were not going to have sex.”

McPaul had initially met the victim in 2016 at a US election party, five months before the alleged rape.

The court heard the victim had met the accused again in 2017 at another party and they kissed and exchanged messages after McPaul had left to go home.

On a later occasion in 2017, on the morning of the alleged rape, the victim had allowed McPaul to stay over after a party and they shared a bed and cuddled.

The victim said: “It was late and probably quite cold outside and he lives a long way away. I had no reason not to let him in.

“Although on some level I must have wanted that [sex with him], I do not think I would have, even when I have been very drunk I do not think I would have.

“I went to sleep saying, ‘I am not going to have sex with you’.”

McPaul’s defence lawyer Eleanor Laws suggested the victim had “engaged in consensual kissing and sexual touching, while they were in bed together, before she had gone to sleep and after she had woken up”.

Laws also questioned the victim: “Do you remember saying that what went on between you and McPaul in the morning, from you waking up with him inside you, was in fact pleasurable?”

The unnamed victim replied: “For a brief moment, before I realised what was going on.”

Under cross-examination the victim also admitted she had been reminded of additional details of the alleged rape after reading “an account written by another woman who claimed she had spent the night with the American actor and comedian Aziz Ansari.”

The victim said: “It was something very specific in the news that jogged this memory. I don’t know if you remember reading about this account of a young woman who spent the night with Aziz Ansari.

“Apparently in her account, he kept asking, ‘where do you want me to f**k you?’

“I then remembered that when we were on the sofa he had been saying, ‘shall we go to your room’ and I was saying no we should not. He said something on the lines of, ‘if you prefer to do it here that is fine’.

“I was quite confused and drunk and thought those were my two options: taking him to my room or go further with him on the sofa, which I obviously did not want to do.”

McPaul, 27, denies one count of rape and the trial continues.

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