Serving garda facing investigation over allegation of having underage sex
A serving garda is under investigation for allegedly having underage sex, it has emerged.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)is examining four sexual assault and sexual offence allegations against members of the force.
It has also emerged that, last year, the ombudsman ruled that a rape allegation made against a serving garda was "frivolous and vexatious", and that no disciplinary action would be taken.
Figures released to the Herald show that the GSOC has received 47 complaints relating to alleged sexual assaults and similar offences in the last three- and-a-half years, none of which have resulted in any criminal proceedings being taken.
Nine of the cases remain open, including an allegation that a garda had sex with an underage person last year.
The rank and division of the garda at the centre of the allegation have not been released.
A separate underage sex complaint from 2014 was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who directed that the incident should not be prosecuted.
In 2015, an allegation of underage sex was withdrawn by the complainant, while a garda who was investigated for possessing child pornography was cleared after the ombudsman said the matter was "inadmissable".
In 35 of the cases, the GSOC found that further investigation was not necessary or reasonably practicable, meaning that the complaint did not constitute misbehaviour by the garda.
Of the five rape allegations made against serving gardai since 2014, two were referred to the DPP, who directed that no charges be proferred.
A further two allegations were deemed frivolous or vexatious by the GSOC, while another rape complaint did not require further investigation.
Last year saw the highest number of complaints made in recent years, 18, compared with just four in the first six months of 2017.
Earlier this year, it emerged that a serving garda was at the centre of two sex assault allegations, including one against a young girl.
An investigation was carried out by the GSOC into the alleged rape of a woman. As a result, a file was sent to the DPP but no prosecution was sanctioned.
The investigation was launched after the woman, in her 40s, claimed the garda raped her in a car in 2013.
The Herald previously revealed how the GSOC had investigated almost 1,000 physical assault and similar allegations since 2014, only two of which had resulted in disciplinary proceedings.
In total, 934 assault and threat to assault complaints were made, 142 of which are still being investigated.
A number of the allegations were found to be frivolous or vexatious, while in most cases the GSOC ruled that further investigation was "not necessary or further practicable" or that "no misbehaviour was identified".
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