A 45-year-old Cork man was put on trial by judge and jury today on a charge of raping his niece after a game of piggyback when she was aged nine or 10 years old.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the rape and two sexual assault charges and a jury of seven men and five women was sworn in hear the case before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
John O’Kelly, prosecution senior counsel, presented an outline of the case but told the jury that this was the anticipated evidence and did not constitute evidence in itself. The 45-year-old faced three charges and he pleaded not guilty to each of them.
He denied one count of rape and two charges of sexual assault on dates between 2001 and 2006 when the complainant was aged from seven to 12 years.
It was alleged that the incidents occurred when she was visiting her grandmother’s house, where her uncle — the defendant — also lived.
“On the occasion of the alleged rape the grandmother was not there and her uncle (name) was playing piggybacks with the child. He was down on all fours.
“She would be on his back. Then he said to her, ‘Now you do it to me’ and she went down on all fours. She immediately went down under the weight. There was nothing terrible about that.
“She said his lower body pressed against her. She went into an adjoining bedroom. She is nine or 10 [at the time]. He pushed her down on the bed and he pulled down her clothes.
“She yelled out and he stopped. Then she went to another room. She did not tell her grandmother. She was terribly embarrassed,” Mr O’Kelly said.
The prosecution senior counsel said the complainant was certain that her uncle entered her with his penis.
“Two months later there was a sleepover in the house… She wakes up to find her uncle’s hand on her vagina under her bedclothes and under her underwear. She tells him to stop and he leaves.
“Then the third time, that occurs some months later. She is standing in the kitchen and he puts his hand inside her clothes, inside her underwear. He puts his hand on her vagina. She roars for her grandmother. She says, ‘(name) was at me’ and the grandmother said to leave her alone,” Mr O’Kelly said.
The jury did not hear from the complainant yet in the trial which continues tomorrow (Wed).