Jury sworn in for trial of seven people over alleged child rapes

Three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children in Munster

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and several aunts and uncles of the three main child complainants. File Photograph:  Collins Courts.

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and several aunts and uncles of the three main child complainants. File Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A jury has been sworn in the trial of three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children in Munster.

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and several aunts and uncles of the three main child complainants.

The Central Criminal Court heard that both parents are also accused of wilfully neglecting two further child complainants.

The seven accused deny the allegations against them. The accused range in ages from 27 to 57 and live in various locations in Munster.

Before the jury was sworn, Mr Justice Paul McDermott told them that allegations of sexual offences had been made by three children in this case.

He said these allegations related to repeated acts of sexual assault or abuse by close relations over a long period of time in 2014 to 2016.

The judge said the accused are all related to the three main complainants. He said this included both of the children’s parents and their grandmother, while the remaining four accused are aunts and uncles of the children.

Mr Justice McDermott said the case was expected to take in excess of eight weeks, but that the jury “ought to budget” for eight to 10 weeks.

Not guilty pleas

The 56-year-old father of the three child complainants pleaded not guilty to 34 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

The 33-year-old mother of the three child complainants pleaded not guilty to 25 counts including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglect a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

The 56-year-old man and 33-year-old woman also pleaded not guilty to wilfully neglecting two further male children at a location in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A 48-year-old man pleaded not guilty 12 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A 35-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to three counts, including sexually assaulting the female child and sexually assaulting one of the male children at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A 27-year-old man pleaded not guilty 10 counts including rape, oral rape, anal rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A 32-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to four counts, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

Finally, the 57-year-old grandmother of the three child complainants pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexually assaulting the female child by touching her genitals at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

The trial is expected to open in evidence before the jury in Croke Park on Monday, May 31st.