Police are investigating one of their own after an Athlone woman said she was repeatedly raped while in police holding cells.
The 32-year-old woman was arrested for shoplifting and possession of drugs on New Year’s Eve in the Athlone area. She has since laid rape charges against her arresting officer.
Police have confirmed that its watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), is investigating the matter.
According to police sources, the warrant officer was on duty from 6pm on New Year’s Eve until 6am the next day.
The woman told police that she was arrested and taken to the holding cells at the Athlone Police Station. Here, the warrant officer took her out of the cell and allegedly promised to release her on just a warning, but only if she slept with him. He then said that he was going to have sex with her.
It’s believed the cop then went to fetch alcohol, which he took into the cell, and the two drank together. They then had sex.
The insider said the officer then took the woman out of the station and went to a nearby garage where he bought two cans of energy drinks. The woman said he then made her have more sex with him “a number of times”.
But instead of keeping his promise and releasing her, the warrant officer took the woman back to the police station’s holding cells. The next morning she told his colleagues.
The source said the next officer on duty inspected the cells just before 9am, and that’s when the woman told her story.
The alleged rape victim was taken to a nearby hospital and a case was opened.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that the matter was being investigated.
“The 32-year-old rape complainant was arrested on 31 December 2016 on charges of shoplifting and possession of tik and detained at Athlone Police Station,” he said. “The investigation regarding the allegations of rape is conducted by Ipid.”
Ipid did not respond to queries by Thursday night.