A man with a fetish for girls in school uniforms has been jailed for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old over a two-year period.
Alan Feehily (27), from Milebush, Castlebar, Co Mayo, was described as "pure evil" by his victim, who said he had used her "like a puppet" to perform degrading sexual acts.
Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard Feehily groomed the vulnerable girl and created a set of rules that she had to follow at all times while under his control. He made her take sexually explicit pictures and videos of herself which he used to blackmail her.
Feehily pleaded guilty last November to four sample charges of defilement of a child aged under 15 at various locations between January 1st, 2013 and October 12th, 2014. The facts in an other nine similar charges were also admitted.
Garda Adrian Fehily told an earlier sentencing hearing that Feehily became acquainted with the girl when she was 14 through a mutual acquaintance and disapproved when he heard she had a teenage boyfriend.
He threatened to tell her parents about the boy if she did not kiss him but the girl refused. The threats continued until she finally relented and, after that, Feehily became more aggressive and blackmailed her by threatening to tell her parents she had kissed him.
Garda Fehily said the accused would drive the girl to school and later started using threats of violence to get her to perform sex acts on him while she was wearing her school uniform. Eventually, Feehily demanded that the girl have sex with him after he collected her from school.
The court was told that Feehily created rules which the victim had to obey such as having to call him to say where she was and replying to persistent text messages within 10 minutes.
The abuse ended after the girl attended a friend’s birthday party where there was no phone coverage. Feehily picked her up from the party and was particularly aggressive towards her because she had not phoned him or answered his texts. She later confided in her aunt about what was happening and soon after a garda investigation began.
Feehily was arrested and his phone, containing sexually explicit photos and videos of the girl, was seized. When interviewed he at all times claimed the sex was consensual.
In her victim impact statement, the girl said school became a blur and her grades slipped as she became “fixated with staying alive”.
“While my friends were all having fun, I was being forced every day - like a puppet - into degrading sexual acts against my will. I was completely ashamed and degraded,” she said.
“He was pure evil. I was forced to grow up fast and I lost six years of my life. I have suffered since I was 14...I really do wish to go to college and travel the world someday but he has put all of that on hold.”
She added: “While I know now that I will make it, I still find it hard to tell my story. There were times when I was not believed, even by people in authority.”
Bernard Madden SC, defending, said Feehily was assessed as being at “low to moderate risk of reoffending” because of his inability to see the harm of his actions.
He said Feehily wrote a letter while in custody which was handed into court and was now accepting full responsibility for his actions and wanted to apologise to the girl.
Judge Rory McCabe said Feehily had subjected the girl to a pattern of abuse of the grossest kind and he had always maintained it was consensual.
“I have no difficulty in rejecting that,” he said.
The judge said the girl had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the years of sexual trauma she had suffered.
He sentenced Feehily to four years in prison on each of the four charges with the sentences to run concurrently. To act as an incentive to rehabilitate, the judge suspended the final year of each sentence on a number of conditions.