Writer warned of jail for sex assault on teenage boy


A WRITER has been warned by a judge that he would get no assurances that he would avoid jail for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy. Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing of Desmond Hogan (57), Ballybunion, Co Kerry, to allow him to be assessed for participation in a sex offenders' treatment programme.

Hogan was back at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court yesterday for sentence after he pleaded guilty last July to sexually assaulting the boy at his house in Ballybunion on November 11th, 2006.

He had been remanded on bail initially for sentence on October 6th, when Judge Moran heard that Hogan had made it clear to his probation officer, Nora Brassil, that he saw the incident as "a mutual sexual incident/relationship" as opposed to an offence.

Judge Moran said that two years would seem to be an appropriate sentence given Hogan's previous good character and the fact he had pleaded guilty, but he remained concerned about the possibility of reoffending.

He adjourned sentencing until March 10th after hearing there was a six-month waiting list for a place at the Granada Institute in Dublin, which offers treatment for sex offenders.

"It's all very well to say this man should be put in prison and locked up for a period and undergo post-release supervision, but it may not resolve whatever problem there is. I want to ensure above all that the accused does not commit this offence again," Judge Moran said.

"He is not out of the woods yet. There is no assurance being given that he won't go to prison."

Yesterday's hearing was marked by angry scenes when a relative of the boy had to be restrained by other family members and gardaí as he shouted at the judge: "What about the family who are struggling the whole time through this?"

Judge Moran acknowledged the matter "was dragging on without any finality" but there was "an underlying problem" which would remain when Hogan was released from prison if he did not receive treatment and that needed to be addressed.

In October, Ms Brassil had expressed concern that Hogan might reoffend.