Case against alleged child rapist was dropped over delays
The prosecution of an alleged 15-year-old rapist slipped through the cracks due to delays, mismanagement and bureaucracy.
The case arose from an alleged incident at a family party.
The teen was the son of a family friend and well-known to the eight-year-old girl.
It was alleged that on the night of July 5, 2006, the teen took the young girl into a bathroom, locked the door, raped her vaginally and attempted to, or did, rape her anally. The child told her mother and a garda investigation was initiated.
On July 7, the accused made a statement containing admissions about the girl and about another girl.
The case was assigned to a male garda.
Forensic evidence was collected, including DNA evidence which showed the youth's semen on the young girl's clothes.
Reports from Crumlin Children's Hospital, where the girl was treated after the attack, were compiled and a file was also sent to the National Juvenile Office.
The alleged teen perpetrator was also referred by a social worker to an organisation that deals specifically with adolescents who have sexually abused.
Reports carried out by social workers found that he demonstrated "a cold, callous attitude" towards sexual offending. Concerns were also expressed about the fact that, according to his own admissions, there had been other incidents of sexual abuse on his part in the past.
However, the garda assigned to the case was subsequently transferred to a different county on November 27, 2008. A replacement garda was not assigned to "complete the file" until September 25, 2011 - almost three years after the transfer of the original investigating officer.
The DPP eventually directed the prosecution of the accused on two charges of rape and attempted rape of the child, and in October he was sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court. On January 24, 2014, a judicial review by the High Court ruled that the charges should be dropped.