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Woman raped in Belfast gay club, court told

A man has gone on trial for the rape and sexual abuse of a woman in a gay nightclub three years ago.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Francis Airis Eliason (31) did not deny having sex with the woman in the Kremlin Bar, but claimed that it was consensual.

Prosecution lawyer Peter Magill told the jury of six men and six women that they may feel that essentially "what this case comes down to in the end is consent".

Mr Magill said that the woman and a male friend had gone to the Donegall Street nightclub, which caters to the gay community, on September 10, 2010, where she met Eliason and they danced.

Later Eliason allegedly took her by the wrist and led her down a corridor and into a small cloakroom where he allegedly raped and sexually abused her twice.

Mr Magill said the woman would tell the court that "she did not want this to happen, but that in essence, she froze". On returning to the main club area staff were alerted and police called.

Eliason, from the Antrim Road in north Belfast, denies a total of four charges, including two counts of rape. At hearing.

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