Three years for sexual assault of teenage girl
A Tipperary man has been sentenced to three years in jail for sexually assaulting the teenage daughter of a neighbour.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said he was taking into account the gravity of the offence, the breach of trust and supplying drink to a 15-year-old as aggravating factors, while noting the man’s previous good character and strong work ethic as mitigating factors.
Mr Justice Carney imposed a three-year sentence and suspended the final year on strict conditions, including that he kept away from his victim in perpetuity. The man (49) was registered as a sex offender.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, had denied charges of rape and sexual assault at his home on February 9th, 2009. He was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of sexually assaulting the girl but the jurors failed to reach a verdict on the rape charge.
No impact report
John O’Kelly SC, prosecuting, told Mr Justice Carney the teenager did not make a victim impact report as she just wanted to move on with her life. Her mother was in court.
He said the Director of Public Prosecutions viewed the offence at the lower range of the mid-range of sexual assaults on a child as it had not been violent and was not a case of repeated abuse.
Mr O’Kelly submitted that there was a “breach of trust” involved because the girl was the man’s friend’s daughter.
A local garda told John McCarthy SC, defending, that his client told gardaí it was “a moment of madness”.
The garda accepted he was heavily intoxicated on the night but had since started to deal with his drinking problem. Mr McCarthy submitted that his client was not a danger to society.
The garda told Mr O’Kelly that the girl told gardaí that she had been drinking in the man’s apartment with friends when he returned drunk and he gave her more alcohol.
The garda said the teenager claimed she had fallen asleep in a chair but woke up in the man’s bed. She had no top on and the man was standing naked by the bed.
The girl then went back to the sitting room but her friends had left. She returned to the man’s bedroom to get her clothes and claimed he pushed her down on the bed and pulled down her clothes.
The garda agreed with Mr O’Kelly the man was extremely co-operative with gardaí but gave a different account. He said he did not have a great memory of the incident.
No previous convictions
He told gardaí in interview that when he went into his bedroom, the teenager was already there in the bed. He denied taking her top off but admitted that he pulled down her clothes. He said he “came to his senses” and stopped.
The garda said the man had no previous convictions, had since moved to Waterford and had no further contact with the family.