A teenage boy who orally raped and sexually assaulted a teenage girl in a public park has been remanded in Oberstown detention centre ahead of his 18th birthday.
In the Central Criminal Court on Monday, Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring said the appropriate sentence for the boy was three and a half years in detention.
However, because he is due to turn 18 in a matter of days and cannot be detained in Oberstown as an adult, the judge adjourned the case for finalisation on June 15th.
She said it would be up to the State and the authorities at Oberstown as to where he would be held until then.
The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, was 15 when he dragged the girl to an isolated part of the park, removed some of her clothes and orally raped her.
The Central Criminal Court heard both the accused and the victim have been diagnosed with autism.
Following a trial in February, the boy was convicted by a jury of orally raping and sexually assaulting the then-16-year-old girl in a public park in Dublin on January 17th, 2020. He had pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The court heard the accused does not accept the verdicts of the jury. He has no previous convictions.
There were emotional scenes in court on Monday, with one man thrown out of court for shouting.
Victim impact statement
In her victim impact statement, which she previously read before the court, the victim said that for the last two years it is not the accused who has had to pay for what he did, but her and her family.
The victim said she was scared to leave her house, scared his face would be around the corner. She said she would sit up every night crying, hoping no one would hear her.
She said the accused took the funny, joking and confident person she had grown into, and it is only now that she has got a little bit of herself back through counselling, adding that she finally felt she was on the right track.
The victim said she was “one lucky girl” to have had her family through all of this, adding that she is now in a very happy relationship and her partner has been really supportive.
She said when the trial came around “every little emotion came back”, but she was not going to show it and was keeping her head up.
She said the anxiety in her family home for four weeks was different from anything any of them had felt before.
The victim said that when she was being cross-examined, she had to excuse herself to be physically sick. She said she was not going to let the accused break her down any more than he already had.
She said that during the trial, the accused sometimes chose not to show up, and his demeanour throughout the trial showed no respect for the court. She said he blatantly had his feet on chairs, was on his phone and would “kick off” if he had to stay after 4pm.
The victim said she also has autism, but did not use that as an excuse not to be in court. She said she does not believe he realises the impact he has had on her and her family.
As she was reading her victim impact statement, the accused began loudly making comments from the body of the court such as: “She is lying out of her mouth” and “She is talking sh*t”.
When the accused continued to make similar comments after being warned to stop, the judge ordered he be removed from the courtroom. He later declined to return to the court prior to his counsel giving a plea in mitigation.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.