Man found not guilty of sexual assault on child by unanimous jury verdicts at Cork court

Man found not guilty of sexual assault on child by unanimous jury verdicts at Cork court

The accused man said, “I would never do that to a child. It is the lowest of the low.” 

A babysitter at a house being used as a brothel was sexually assaulted by a man who came back to the house at night, it was alleged during a judge and jury trial.

The accused man said, “I would never do that to a child. It is the lowest of the low.” 

The woman who was aged from 12 to 14 at the time claimed she was sexually assaulted by the accused man approximately 30 years ago on three occasions in the early 1990s.

She alleged he sexually assaulted her twice in her own bed at the house and a third time when she was sexually assaulted by the defendant when he was with the woman who owned the house in her bed.

However, a jury took one hour to deliver unanimous not guilty verdicts. Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin told the accused man at Cork Circuit Criminal Court he was free to leave, following the verdicts.

The defendant totally denied the sexual assault charges. He said he used to go on four or five-day drinking benders at that time in his life and would return home with various friends.

He recalled one night when he was with a woman in her bed but not having sexual intercourse – “I left my pants and stockings on me.” 

The complainant said that she was in the bed on a night when the defendant was having sex with this woman and that he leaned over and sexually assaulted her by touching her vagina.

She said that on two other occasions he did likewise when he came into her bedroom. The defendant denied all three alleged offences.

The defendant recalled a night when he went back to this house with the same woman and a third person – a man they met in a pub. He said this man arranged to have a sexual encounter with the woman and did so downstairs at the house. The defendant said the man went to the bathroom at one stage and was gone four or five minutes when suddenly there was a scream from the complainant’s room.

The defendant denied that he ever sexually assaulted the child.

“I never touched the child on any time. I babysit my own nieces and nephews. I would never do that to a child. It is the lowest of the low. I definitely did not touch any child. Did not,” the defendant said.

Prosecution barrister, Donal O’Sullivan said in cross-examination, “I put it to you straight up – you are a liar. You are making things up today to meet the case against you.” The defendant denied this.

Sinead Behan defence barrister said the prosecution had told the jury that the woman who was in the bed with the defendant at the time of one count of sexual assault on the child, was still alive but unwilling to come to court to give evidence in this trial. Ms Behan said this was unsatisfactory.

Ms Behan said to the jurors that they might have sympathy for the complainant but that they should approach the matters coldly and objectively.

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