Irish man wanted for sex offences to be extradited from US

New York court rules man sought over almost 400 incidents will not be released on bail

 

An Irish man who is wanted in connection with almost 400 sexual offences against minors in the midlands area is to be extradited from the United States.

A federal court in upstate New York ruled the man will be returned to Ireland. He also ruled he will not be released on bail while he awaits extradition by the authorities.

The man was arrested last month at an apartment in Guilderland, a small town just outside Albany in New York state.

He had been living there since April, though had left Ireland in 2013.

Announcing the granting of the extradition request, the court said it finds “probable cause to believe that the crimes charged occurred and that the accused is responsible.”

Noting that the suspect is accused of having “a long-standing sexually abusive relationship with two young boys whom he had befriended, groomed, and exploited when they were between the ages of twelve and nineteen,” the court noted that the information it had received about the suspect was based upon a large number of witness statements, including statements from the two alleged victims.

It also addressed the decision not to grant the suspect’s request for bail, noting that he poses “both a risk of flight as well as a significant danger to the community.”

The accused appeared in person in the court in Albany last Friday. He was accompanied by his legal team. His sister and his current employer were also present in court. He had been working in Albany before his arrest last month.

The accused’s sister requested the defendant be granted bail, noting he had health conditions as a child.

“I know … my brother would never, ever harm anyone in his life,” she said in court.

The accused’s defence attorney said his employer would allow him to continue working if he is released on bail.

The court also heard the man had not “fled” Ireland, but had moved to the United States for a better life. His attorney noted he was living in the open under his real name and with his identification on bills and leases, without any subterfuge. He said he would furnish the judge letters from current and former employers and others testifying to the man’s responsibility and good character.

But the judge, who had reserved a final decision on both the request for extradition and whether to grant bail to the man until this week, refused his requests on both counts.

He has now been returned to the custody of the United States Marshalls until he is handed over to Irish authorities.

The man is wanted for questioning over the alleged sexual assault and rape of two minors, mostly at a GAA ground in the midlands , between 2004 and 2009.

He faces 387 accounts of sexual assault, including 177 counts of rape.

Court documents filed in New York state the accused “is charged with 210 counts of sexual assault, 177 counts of rape, 1 count of attempted rape, 3 counts of assault causing harm, 1 count of false imprisonment, 1 count of damage to property, and one count of harassment.”

According to the documents outlining the basis for the extradition request, the man was well known in the local community in Ireland and had a “significant involvement in the local GAA scene.”

The documents state the Irish government submitted a formal request through diplomatic channels for the extradition of the individual.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in September 2017. Gardai then asked Homeland Security for assistance in locating the individual a year later.