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Assault accused ‘only trying to make friends’
7:30am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
GIRLS who accused a 25-year-old man of accosting them in broad daylight in Worcester city centre could have been influenced by a newspaper report, a jury has been told.
Six teenage girls claim they were sexually assaulted by Rubio Costa, who has dual nationality from Portugal and Angola, after he approached them in the city centre over a two-week period in March.
Costa, speaking through an interpreter at Worcester Crown Court , denies the allegations.
He said he had not made many friends since arriving from Portugal in January and wanted to practise his English.
Cross-examined, he said he did not remember meeting one of the girls at all. He said she knew the other girls and had spoken to them before making up a story.
Costa said he walked with one of the other girls around the city centre but denied following her. He said he didn’t think the girl was beautiful but told her that as a compliment, because he was being friendly.
Adam Western, defending, told the jury it was possible the girls had been “exaggerating” and could have been influenced by a newspaper story about young women being approached in the city.
One of the girls, he said, carried on with her normal day after she had met Costa, one did not complain until a week later after talking to her mother and another said she had screamed loudly several times but no one had responded.
Costa, he said, denied grabbing the girls inappropriately. He had not given them a reason to feel upset or unsettled and had been transparent in his wish to make friends.
He had given them his real name and his real telephone number and his behaviour was not sexually motivated.
The trial continues.