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Boy (15) accused of rape and sex assault of young girl on a sleepover in his house, court hears

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A JUDGE is to consider whether the case of a 15-year-old Dublin boy accused of rape and sex assault of a young girl having a sleepover in his house should be split into two trials.

The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court charged with the offences which are alleged to have taken place at his home on a date last year. He was aged 14 at the time.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed trial on indictment meaning he will face the Central Criminal Court on the rape charge.

A preliminary hearing commenced today to decide whether the sexual assault charge should be dealt with separately in the Children’s Court or be part of the trial in the higher court.

In an outline of the evidence, Garda Kathy Byrne told Judge Brendan Toale that the girl, then aged 13, had been on a sleepover with her friend, at the boy’s house.

The girl was staying in her friend’s room when it was alleged the boy entered and was asked to get out.

It was alleged the teen got on top of her and made a crude remark to her. She said that she would tell his parents what happened.

The garda said it was alleged the boy then put one hand on her throat and one hand on the bed “as he tried to choke her”. It was alleged the rape happened minutes later.

The boy was arrested several months later and was questioned in the presence of his mother. He denied the allegations, Judge Toale heard.

The juvenile court can accept jurisdiction for the sexual assault charge by taking into account the nature of the allegation and the age and maturity of the boy, and other relevant factors.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan asked the judge to note the boy’s young age. He had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and mild to moderate intellectual difficulties. He has also been linking in with mental health services.

State solicitor submitted that both cases should be dealt with together in one trial before the Central Criminal Court.

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Accepting jurisdiction for the sexual assault charge would result in two sequential trials, one in the Central Criminal Court and the other in the Children’s Court, arising out of the same incident.

That would be against the interests of the defendant and complainant, she argued.

The girl could be re-victimised and the boy would have to face two trials.

Citing case law, she argued that in this case there was no special reason for separate trials.

Mr Keenan argued that the boy’s age was a special circumstance for two sets of proceedings.

Adjourning the case, Judge Toale said he will consider the submissions and give a ruling on this issue later this month.

He also asked the defence to provide documentation in relation to the boy’s intellectual difficulties.

The teen was accompanied to the hearing by his mother.

As a condition of bail, he cannot have any contact with the complainant by any means and has been warned that this includes via social media.

The same issue has arisen in another juvenile case where another judge accepted jurisdiction for a sexual assault charge connected to a rape case, resulting judicial review proceedings which are still pending.


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