Suspended term for teen who raped niece

Suspended term for teen who raped niece

A TEENAGER who raped his niece after viewing internet pornography from the age of nine or ten had a five-year jail sentence suspended on condition that he would not go within 50km of the victim for five years. Picture: iStock

A TEENAGER who raped his niece after viewing internet pornography from the age of nine or ten had a five-year jail sentence suspended on condition that he would not go within 50km of the victim for five years.

The 19-year-old is also required to have no access to any child without supervision for the next five years. Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned finalisation of sentencing from Monday until today so that the probation service could report on the safeguards that could be put in place for the teenager’s rehabilitation in the community.

The judge then imposed the jail term suspended on multiple conditions. They include the recommendation from the probation service that the accused would attend a psychiatrist to “amplify the query autism diagnosis”.

Other conditions require him to comply fully with probation service directions, in particular in relation to attending counselling and all therapeutic work aimed at addressing the possibility of re-offending.

Defence senior counsel Elizabeth O’Connell said the accused undertook to comply with the conditions under which the sentence was suspended.

Ms Justice Murphy said she was grateful to the probation service in making it possible to impose the appropriate sentence in the case.

At the earlier sentencing hearing, the judge said child access to internet pornography should be addressed at primary school level. Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said there was not much point talking to young people about consent when they got to university if access to pornography was occurring when they were in primary school.

The judge said this suggestion might seem shocking but could be necessary, not least on the basis of the evidence in the present case.

Ms Justice Murphy said: “This is a 19-year-old young man charged with serious sexual offences including seven Section 4 rapes and ten sexual assault offences and the sending of lewd texts to his niece over the period.”

The young man was aged between 14 and 17 and the victim was aged between eight and 11 during the period from May 2016 to April 2019 when the offences occurred. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

The judge said: “It started with inappropriate touching, moving to more intimate and invasive touching, moving to Section 4 rape.

“It came to light when a graphic, sexually explicit message was seen by one of her parents.”

The injured party said in her victim impact statement: “I couldn’t tell anyone. I thought they wouldn’t believe me and they would be mad at me. I thought if my friends found out they would not want to be friends with me anymore.”

None of the parties can be named as it would lead to the identification of the victim.

The judge said: “This is clearly a troubling case for the court. The defendant was accessing child pornography from the age of nine or ten. He learned of it from school friends. He developed an addiction to it by the age of 11. By the age of 14 he was acting out [what he saw] by sexually abusing his niece by oral rape.

“This is an alarm call to society in general as to the dangers of a child accessing pornography.”

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