Entertainer denies sexually assaulting young man in Dublin

Judge to rule later on application that media should be allowed to identify accused man

An entertainer has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a young man in Dublin. File photograph:  Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

An entertainer has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a young man in Dublin. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

 

An entertainer has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a young man in Dublin.

The accused, who is in his mid-20s, cannot be named as a result of an order made by a judge in August when he was charged with carrying out the offence at a venue in Dublin on a date in December 2016.

Diarmuid Collins BL, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told Judge John Hughes at Dublin District Court that the DPP felt it was not necessary to prevent the identification of the accused in order to prevent identification of the complainant.

Eight national news media organisations made a joint application on Wednesday asking the court to set aside the reporting restriction.

Shane English BL was instructed by RTÉ, Independent News and Media, the Irish Daily Star, the Irish Times, the Irish Daily Mail, the Irish Examiner, the Irish Sun and the Sunday Times.

He submitted that the purpose of the legislation in a sexual assault case was to prohibit identification of the complainant and “not protection of the accused”.

‘Not necessary’

“There is no direct nexus between the complainant and the accused. It is not necessary that that order remains in place,” he said.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines said it was none of his business and his client had not sought the order for anonymity. However, he said that as an officer of the court he was concerned there was risk that naming his client could identify the alleged victim.

Judge Hughes noted the positions of the media, the defence and the DPP but deferred ruling on the application. He said it was appropriate, under the Victim’s Directive, for the complainant to be consulted by investigating Garda Shane Behan.

The State sought a seven-week adjournment to complete a book of evidence.

Judge Hughes ordered the entertainer to appear in court again on November 27th next to be served with a book of evidence and to be sent forward for trial. The judge will also deliver his ruling then on the application about naming the accused.