A drama teacher who raped a student when she was about seven years old has been jailed for 10 years.
Kevin Carroll (56) raped the girl in an Offaly school when he held her back after drama class nearly 20 years ago. The victim gave evidence that after the incident a woman at the school told her not to upset her mother by telling her about the rape.
Carroll of Hawthorne Drive, Birr in Offaly had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and anal rape at the Offaly school on a date between 1996 and 1998 when the girl was between six and eight. He was convicted on both counts.
On Friday, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan noted that Carroll had offered no mitigation and still rejected the verdict of the jury.
She said the jury had found his victim to be “a credible and reliable witness” and she commended the woman’s “strength and great dignity” in reading out her emotional victim impact report.
Judge Heneghan said any sentence must take into account the “revulsion of society at such crimes”. She took into account that the victim was a defenceless child at the time and Carroll held a position of authority over her.
She imposed a 10 years sentence and ordered Carroll to undergo two years of post-release supervision. She also ordered he be registered as a sex offender.
Counsel for the DPP, Justin Dillon SC, said the offence was at the higher end of the scale of seriousness because of the age of the victim, Carroll's position of trust and the injuries he caused her.
Mr Dillon told the court that Carroll taught a drama class in the school but was not officially a teacher there.
Carroll taught a drama class in the school but was not officially a teacher there. The victim told the trial that she was in his class and was in the hall one day, possibly to help the teacher or for extra auditions. She said Carroll asked her if she wanted to play a game . He raped her. She said the the pain was “unbelievable” and she thought she was going to die.
She recalled hearing a brush drop and saw that the caretaker had seem then. The girl left the hall and the caretaker “went for” Carroll, she said. She said a woman saw her crying and another woman took her to the bathroom.
When she came out of the bathroom one of the women was waiting for her, she said. She recalled the woman saying “You don’t want to tell your mammy this, you don’t want to upset her.”
In her victim impact statement, the woman said she felt like she “was given a life sentence at the age of six”.
She felt “humiliated and degraded” throughout the trial process which she found “exceptionally difficult.”
She said the rape had not destroyed her and she was slowly learning to cope with the help of therapy.
The court heard earlier this week that Carroll is to launch an appeal against his conviction because a juror was allegedly “smiling and winking” at gardaí during the trial.