Met Police officer accused of rape ‘said he thought woman was playing hard to get’

Victim says James Geoghegan fell asleep afterwards and she cried

Sam Hancock
Tuesday 26 October 2021 07:33

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A serving Metropolitan Police officer accused of raping a woman told her he thought she was “playing hard to get” and being “flirty” when she told him to stop, a court has heard.

The woman said she and James Geoghegan, 27, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, kissed consensually in her bedroom, but that he then pulled her pyjama shorts down.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the alleged attack happened at her home in Essex, on 12 December 2018, when the pair returned after they had been drinking.

In a police video interview played to the court, the woman said she had “pulled [her pyjama shorts] back up and said, ‘No. Stop’.” But, “he then pulled them back down.”

She claims Mr Geoghegan then raped her, a charge he denies.

“I just remember lying there looking at the ceiling thinking, ‘This is disgusting’,” she said, adding: “He was quite sweaty.”

The woman said Mr Geoghegan fell asleep afterwards and that she cried. She also said that she later asked him whether he understood why she was upset and whether he remembered her asking him to stop.

“He said, ‘Yes, I thought you were just playing around’,” the woman told court, adding that Mr Geoghegan allegedly told her: “I thought you were just playing hard to get and being flirty”.’

Jurors were told Mr Geoghegan had decided to stay at the woman’s home in Loughton instead of returning to his place in Enfield.

She continued: “He’s a lot stronger and bigger than me and pulled [my pyjama shorts] off. I personally think if somebody says stop it means stop.”

Explaining there were “bits” of the night in question “missing” due to the amount of “drink involved”, the woman said in the end, Mr Geoghegan “just said he’s sorry, then he left”.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, told the court: “Clearly he heard her say ‘no’, he had heard her indicate that she didn’t want to have sex with him and he also acknowledged that she had indeed pulled her shorts back up when he first pulled them down.”

The BBC reports that in text messages between the pair later that day, the victim told Mr Geoghegan: “I'm upset James because I said no multiple times, but you carried on.”

Mr Cleaver added: “The prosecution case is simple, [the victim] said ‘no’ and [the victim] said [stop] and that is exactly what she meant. It was totally unreasonable, he had no reasonable belief that she was consenting, less still that she was inviting sexual intercourse with him.”

He said the defendant “disregarded her limits and decided instead to press on”.

“It may be that he felt that he had waited long enough and this was his opportunity to go all the way without any real regard to what she actually wanted and to what she was clearly indicating,” Mr Cleaver told the court.

He added that as a police officer, Mr Geoghegan had “professional insight” on where “sexual boundaries may be crossed”.

The trial continues.