Man jailed for abusing special needs girl
A civil servant who sexually abused his special needs foster daughter in their Kildare home has been sentenced to three years with the final 18 months suspended.
The 46-year-old man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on the second day of his trial to sexually assaulting the then 13-year-old girl on August 8th, 2005. He has no previous convictions and has been registered a sex offender.
The man had strenuously denied the allegations to the gardaí six years earlier.
Úna Ni Raifeartaigh SC, prosecuting, said that the case was initially taken to the High Court when the defence sought all HSE documentation relating to the now 21-year-old because the man wanted to demonstrate that his foster daughter was inventing the story and was “prone to fantasy”.
Those documents were released by the HSE four years later and a trial date was set for October this year. A jury was sworn in and the man pleaded guilty on the second day of the trial before the case was opened to the jury.
The investigating gardaí told Ms Ní Raifeartaigh that the victim’s brother witnessed the man lifting the girl’s top and going to kiss her chest after she asked for help getting dressed.
The boy had been sweeping the hall and saw what was going on after the girl’s bedroom door had been left ajar. He immediately challenged the man and said he would tell the girl’s foster mother what had happened and he would be jailed.
The man held his fist up to the boy in a threatening way and the incident was not mentioned until later that month when the victim got upset in front of her foster mother.
The man was interviewed by HSE authorities and claimed he had accidentally touched the victim’s breasts while he was trying to dress her. He moved out of the family home and was arrested the following April and charged in January 2007. He completely denied the allegation during Garda interviews.
The victim has remained living with her foster family.
Her foster mother read her victim impact statement to Judge Mary Ellen Ring while the teenager watched this part of the court proceedings via video link.
When the victim and her foster mother got very upset while she was reading the report, Judge Ring told the victim she could read the rest of the report herself rather than it being read aloud in court.
The victim said in her statement that she was saddened by the incident because her foster father had told her if she reported it, her foster mother would kick her out of the house and she worried that the woman did not love her. “But she does love me and she tells me all the time,” the victim said.