Friday 28 July 2017

I was too afraid to report rapes, son tells court

Jason O'Brien

Jason O'Brien

In the witness box yesterday, the 20-year-old man stumbled over his words as he sought to explain why he hadn't complained sooner about the alleged sexual abuse by his father, and why, even then, he hadn't told everything.

"I felt scared," he said. "It was awful hard to think about, to talk about. (I was) nervous, and all that."

It was September 2004, and the young man was 15 when he broke his silence. He was 12 and barely out of primary school when the abuse allegedly began.

His father is in the Central Criminal Court charged with 47 counts of sexual abuse.

The 52-year-old -- who cannot be named -- has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including 11 of anal rape and 12 of oral rape.

The son explained to the court that it was only when he was in voluntary foster care "and I knew I wasn't going home" that he could break his silence.

Defence barrister David Goldberg asked him how his situation could have been made worse if he had made a complaint earlier.

"I could be sent home and he would know I had complained," the 20-year-old said.

He hated his father, he agreed. But he denied that the allegations of sexual abuse were a form of revenge.

His father sat impassively in the dock throughout the evidence.

Lying

The son confirmed that they had met up after he had made the allegations, and that he had indicated that he would withdraw his statement if he got an apology.

But he admitted to the court that he had been lying, and that he "probably" had no intention of ever withdrawing the statement.

Asked by Mr Goldberg if the four different types of abuse had happened at the same time, the complainant said the rapes began after he went to secondary school and the other types of abuse were before that. He said the different types of abuse happened around the same time but not on the same days.

The complainant agreed that he would have been nervous and every muscle in his body would tense when his father asked him to turn over on his stomach before the alleged rapes.

"It was extremely sore and I was crying," he replied when asked if he would scream when this happened.

"Listen, you can make me out to be a liar if you want but I know what happened," he said at one stage, after Mr Goldberg put it to him that if he was raped twice a week for three years, that would amount to 300 rapes.

He did not scream during the assaults, he said. No one in the house was woken, even though there were other siblings in the room.

He agreed that he had told a lie in relation to a past incident. "I don't know many teenagers that never told a lie about things," he said.

He hated his father, he admitted. But it wasn't revenge.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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