Wednesday 16 January 2019

Court clears way for trial of young man accused of raping teen girl

The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)
The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)

Tim Healy

The High Court has cleared the way for the trial of young man accused of raping a teenage girl.

The man, who cannot be identified, had sought an order preventing his prosecution from going ahead on grounds there had been delay in the investigation into the allegations.  There was also a delay in the State making the decision to prosecute him before the Central Criminal Court, it was argued.

These delays, the young man claimed, meant he was not brought to trial before his 18th birthday meaning he lost a number of protections he would have enjoyed under the 2001 Children's Act had his case come to trial before he turned 18 years of age.

The alleged rape is said to have occurred  shortly before the young man turned 17 years of age, and when the complainant was 16 years of age.

Mr Justice Max Barrett dismissed his application after finding there was no culpable delay in the investigation or in the decision to prosecute the applicant.

The Judge his lawyers claimed that initially the investigation into the complaint had progressed in a timely fashion after the complaint was made to the Gardai.

However it was claimed that there was a culpable delay of 10 months in the advancement of the investigation up to the point in April 2017 when the male turned 18 years of age.

In his ruling the Judge said that If there was any delay in the matter it could be limited to a number of months "that could be counted on one hand."

He added that given all the circumstances surrounding the allegations the criminal justice system could not have investigated the matter before the accused turned 18 years of age.

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