Sunday 21 January 2018

Dad accused of raping and sexually assaulting young daughter

A 50-YEAR-OLD man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of raping and sexually assaulting his young daughter.

He is accused of raping the girl – who is now aged 10 – between October 1, 2009, and October 22, 2010, at an address in a Westmeath town.



He is also charged with two counts of sexual assault at the same address between the same dates and one count of sexual assault in Clare, between October 22 and October 26, 2010.



He is further charged with inviting the child to observe a pornographic film between October 1, 2009, and October 22, 2010. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to all charges.



Prosecuting counsel Patrick Marrinan SC told the jury on the opening day of the trial that the girl was aged between eight and nine when the alleged offences took place.



He said that the girl's mother had been in a relationship with the accused but they split up some years ago. He said that the girl used to stay with her father every three weeks at his home. It was during this time that the alleged offences took place, said Mr Marrinan.



On one occasion, he said that while the girl was playing hide and seek with her father in Clare, he followed her into a closet and put his hand onto her private parts.



He was arrested and denied that he had done anything wrong. “He suggested (the girl's) mother had put her up to these accusations,” said Mr Marrinan.



Garda Marie Willoughby told the court she interviewed the young girl on March 31, 2011. A video of this interview was played to the jury. In it, the girl said, “What my Dad did to me was a bad secret.”



Asked how she would feel, she told the garda, “Sad. I didn't feel happy.”



She said that at one stage there was a film, which she described as “dirty” and “kinda like what my Dad was doing to me”.



Referring to an alleged incident in Clare, she said that she was playing hide and seek with her father and another boy. She said the other boy caught her and she spotted her father in the closet. She said she went in and he put his hand down her trousers and was “feeling my private”. The boy was about to walk in so her father stopped, she said.



“He only said 'Sorry' sometimes. He just said, 'I'm sorry and I promise I won't do it again' and he kept on doing it,” said the girl.



The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.







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