A Cork man went on trial yesterday on 46 counts of sexually assault his stepdaughter on a monthly basis from when she was eight years old.
The case opened before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury of seven women and five men at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The 46-year-old accused man denied all 46 counts against him, replying, “Absolutely not guilty” when he was arraigned on the first count on the indictment.
“The accused does not have to take part in this trial at all. The prosecution must prove each and every aspect of this case,” prosecution barrister Dermot Sheehan said.
He outlined what he anticipated the evidence would be in the trial.
“She is now 17. From the age of about 8 to about 13 in the years 2011 to 2015 she lived with the defendant who had a long term relationship with her mother.
“She will tell you he would come to her bed, she would be wearing pyjamas as an eight-year-old child. He would take off his clothes apart from his jocks – underpants. He would lie there naked apart from his underpants and put her legs between his legs and rub her arm and leg and thigh and hair and kiss her on the lips,” Mr Sheehan said.
The prosecution barrister said she asked him not to do this but he did not comply with her wish.
“It happened at least once a month. A change occurred in the conduct on her tenth birthday. That change was that along with what he had been doing up until then he would lie on top of her in the bed.
“These matters ended when he left in February 2015.” The jury was sent home after lunch so that legal issues could be dealt with in their absence.