Teen who sexually assaulted school friend placed under Probation Service supervision

The now 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two charges of sexual assault in Dublin on November 8th, 2019
Teen who sexually assaulted school friend placed under Probation Service supervision

Sonya McLean

A teenage girl has said she has not returned to school since she was sexually assaulted by a school friend two and half years ago.

The now 17-year-old girl told gardaí that she and the accused were both 14 when he sexually assaulted her, following consensual kissing between them. She and the boy had been drinking in a local green area with friends earlier in the evening.

She was particularly drunk and was struggling to walk when she became separated from her friends and the boy offered to walk her home.

Almost two weeks later, she received a voice message from the boy threatening to "run through your house, slit the neck of you, your Ma and your sister".

The now 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two charges of sexual assault in Dublin on November 8th, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to the girl on November 26th, 2019. He has no previous convictions.

A local garda told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that the girl had asked the boy to stop when he digitally penetrated her but he continued.

He sexually assaulted her twice in the same way, once at the end of a driveway of a house and secondly, minutes later, after he led her behind some bushes.

The court heard the girl did not make a complaint to gardaí until over two weeks later when she received a threatening voice message from the boy. The message, which was played in court, stated he knew there were rumours about what happened between them.

Arrest

The girl told a teacher what had happened and gardaí were contacted in January 2020. The boy was arrested, interviewed and admitted there had been sexual contact between them but maintained it was consensual.

The voice message said: "You don’t know no shit. You know what’s true. You don’t be saying no bullshit about me. Don’t say nothing about my friend. We will run through your house, slit the neck of you, your Ma and your sister."

A victim impact statement from the girl said she found it really hard to leave the house, get out of bed and interact with people in the aftermath of the sexual assault.

She said the teenager's friends would come up to her and call her a rat and liar. She has not returned to school since 2020, the court heard.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon said it was clear the threatening message was "the catalyst" for the girl making a complaint to a teacher about the sexual assault.

She acknowledged the impact the offences had on the girl, noting she has not since returned to school.

"I am mindful of the very harmful impact on her mental health and her ability to engage in education and other activities," the judge said.

Ms Justice Creedon said a report from the probation service and a psychological report concluded that the boy "now has more insight and acknowledges that he should not have initiated sexual contact as they were both under the influence of alcohol".

He now understands the impact on the victim and her family and accepts responsibility for the message, the court heard.

The judge acknowledged that while the teenager has "a challenging home environment", he has a strong bond with his mother and has not come to any further Garda attention.

"He has since taken responsibility for the offending and has engaged with professionals in a respectful manner," the judge said before she added that the boy has made progress "in relation to the attitude towards his offending".

Ms Justice Creedon placed the boy under the supervision of the Probation Service until April 2023 and ordered that he engage with that service, attend all appointments and engage with any awareness programmes as directed by his probation officer.


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.

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