‘My brother wouldn’t harm anyone,’ sister of man facing 387 sex assault charges tells court

US judge to rule next week on whether to extradite man accused of rape at GAA ground

Gardaí  asked US Homeland Security for assistance in locating the individual last year.

Gardaí asked US Homeland Security for assistance in locating the individual last year.

 

A New York judge has reserved a decision until early next week on whether to grant an extradition request for an Irishman who has been accused of sexual assault offences in the midlands.

The judge in Albany also said that he was deferring a decision on whether to grant bail to the man who has been held in jail in the custody of the United States Marshals service since his arrest on January 16th.

The accused appeared in a US federal court in the New York capital on Friday where he was accompanied by his legal team and his sister.

He had been working in Albany before his arrest last month.

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

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

The accused’s defence attorney said his employer would allow him to continue working if he was 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 defence 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.

The defence attorney added that the government had failed to prove probable cause that he committed crimes and highlighted his weak health as an extenuating circumstance for not jailing him.

The accused is facing almost 400 charges of sexual offences against minors in the midlands area. He 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 counts of sexual assault, including 177 counts of rape.

Court documents filed in New York state that 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 1 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. Gardaí then asked Homeland Security for assistance in locating the individual a year later.

According to the filing, the accused’s house in Ireland was raided in November 2013 by authorities during which incriminatory evidence was recovered, it is alleged.

Department of Homeland Security agents also seized devices from his home in Albany when they raided his residence last month, the prosecutor said, including a cell phone and computer.