Defendant ‘did not realise’ making girl (12) perform oral sex was a crime

Victim was told images of her would be shared with others if she did not follow order

A young man did not know he was committing a crime when he told a 12-year-old girl he would send around photos of her engaged in a sexual act if she did not perform oral sex on another boy, a court has heard.

A young man did not know he was committing a crime when he told a 12-year-old girl he would send around photos of her engaged in a sexual act if she did not perform oral sex on another boy, a court has heard.

 

A young man did not know he was committing a crime when he told a 12-year-old girl he would send around photos of her engaged in a sexual act if she did not perform oral sex on another boy, a court has heard.

The defendant, who was 16 at the time, had previously forced the child to perform oral sex on him while others recorded the act on their mobile phones.

The accused, now aged 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child at a place in Dublin on August 21st and August 25th, 2015.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard evidence that the defendant knew the girl and they were chatting on Facebook. They met in a public park and he brought the girl over to a ditch and made her kneel down on the ground.

He manipulated her head and made her perform oral sex on him. She later told gardaí that she felt really dirty.

The court heard that a “group of young fellas” were standing nearby and took pictures of the incident and showed her these. The victim was able to see her face and the sexual act and she felt horrible and worried “she would get a name”.

She met the defendant again four days later and he again forced her to perform oral sex on him before telling her that she had to “give a blowjob” to a younger boy or else he would show the pictures of the earlier incident to others.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the accused’s lawyers told Mr Justice Micheal White that his client believed the victim was 14 at the time and did not realise what he was doing was illegal.

‘Less than gentlemanly’

Seamus Clarke SC said that the victim appeared to have wanted to “go out” with his client and that he was “less than gentlemanly” in his response to her.

In a letter to the court, the defendant said he wished to apologise to the victim and that he and the other boy were “teenagers with little sense” at the time.

Mr Justice White adjourned sentencing to October 17th.

Last August the younger boy was sentenced and ordered to complete 180 hours of community service. His lawyers told Mr Justice White that he was in fear of the older boy, while the victim told gardaí she felt she had to do it.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending, told the court that the older boy had asked her client “are you going to be gay?”, meaning “was he afraid?”. Her client believed there would be adverse postings about him on social media, she said. She said the incident was a once off act stage managed by the older boy.

Ms Lacey said a Probation Service report noted that he had little understanding of the concept of consent, and did not realise he and the victim were both too young to consent.

She said he bitterly regretted his actions and was offering an unreserved apology to the victim.

Neither of the defendants can be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.