Friday 23 February 2018

Former soccer player raped daughter 'on almost daily basis'

Conor Gallagher

A FORMER professional soccer player has been convicted of 74 counts of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter.

After the verdict, the 71-year-old said sorry to the victim and her mother as he was being led away by prison officers. He was remanded in custody until his sentence hearing after the prosecution objected to his application for bail.

The man used to play soccer in his youth with two English teams. He cannot be identified for legal reasons.

He had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 60 counts of sexual assault and 14 counts of rape on the victim between January 2002 and September 2006 at locations in Galway and Roscommon.

The trial heard he raped the girl on an almost daily basis.

His daughter told prosecuting counsel Mary Rose Gearty SC that the abuse started early in 2002 with touching of her private areas. On one occasion he molested her while her brother was in the room with his back to them.

She said in early 2006 he started raping her. Sometimes he would go into the bathroom while she was having a shower and molest her. Afterwards he would take her into the bedroom and rape her.

When he was confronted by her mother about the abuse he admitted it and said he had to see a doctor to find out why he did it.

He also admitted the abuse to gardai, telling them: "Whatever (the victim) says, I did, I'll agree with."

During his evidence to the trial, he claimed he only made these admissions because he thought his daughter would get into trouble if he denied them.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts after more than five hours of deliberations and a four-day trial.

The judge ordered the accused be registered as a sex offender and ordered a victim-impact report be prepared for the sentence hearing in May.

Defence counsel Garret Baker BL said his client was aware of the seriousness of the offences but applied for him to remain on bail, which was rejected by the judge.

Irish Independent

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