Northern Ireland

Alleged rape victim may have been drugged, court hears

A young woman who was allegedly gang raped by at least four men may have been drugged, a court has been told.

The claim was made during a bail application by one of the accused.

Florin Cirpaci, 33, was refused bail amid fears that he would flee the country or interfere with the ongoing investigation.

He is one of three Romanian nationals in custody charged with rape. The court heard a fourth man left NI after the alleged offence took place.

A police officer told Craigavon Magistrates' Court that one line of enquiry was whether the 22-year-old alleged victim had been drugged when she met the men in a Portadown bar on 25 August 25.

The court heard a sample of her blood had been submitted for a toxicology report.

She told police that at most, she had consumed five alcoholic drinks the entire evening which would not have affected her greatly, but the officer described how she has "little memory" of events in the unnamed bar and that CCTV footage showed her being "carried" by a defendant to a waiting car which had four men in it.

She was then allegedly taken to a house where the attack took place.

Mr Cirpaci, from North Street, Portadown, has been charged with raping the woman.

His co-accused are Ioan Aurel Lacatus, 24, and Aurel Teglas, 20, both of Corcrain Drive also in Portadown.

The court heard that a fourth man, "within hours of becoming aware of the police investigation," fled the country.

The court heard that police objected to bail as Mr Cirpaci was a "flight risk" and could interfere with the investigation if released.