Gustavo Viturino (32) was arrested when the toilet was placed under surveillance after it became known as a spot for men to engage in public sex acts
A LAW student caught masturbating in the toilet at a Dublin Marks and Spencer store has been convicted and fined €400.
Gustavo Viturino (32) was arrested when the toilet was placed under surveillance after it became known as a spot for men to engage in public sex acts.
Judge Bryan Smyth refused to leave the accused without a criminal record, saying young boys could have gone in.
Viturino, a tech worker and student of Chancery Hall, Blackhall Place in central Dublin pleaded guilty to public masturbation.
The offence happened at Marks & Spencer on Mary Street last June 14.
Viturino was one of several men to appear in Dublin District Court in recent months charged with the same offence at the store’s male toilets.
He had pleaded guilty earlier and the case came back before Judge Smyth for a probation report.
Defence solicitor Paddy McGarry said the accused had been cooperative and the report was “very detailed.”
The probation service had put him at a low risk of reoffending.
Viturino had given “frank and honest” instructions in his guilty plea, which had given the court a “better idea of what was going on with these offences,” Mr McGarry said.
The accused had been through “serious hardship” in his life and his father had been murdered.
Viturino got a scholarship to go to a private school in Brazil, though he wasn’t afforded the kind of life that others in the school had.
He was very ambitious and had worked to get a good job in a tech company.
Viturino had found being in court and the media attention difficult and he was worried about his job, and that a conviction could affect his visa.
He had brought his mother to Ireland to live with him and there was “a lot riding on his job here.”
The accused was also studying law on an undergraduate course.
“Young men, teenagers, young boys could have gone into the toilets,” Judge Smyth said.
Viturino was “thankful to the gardai for taking him out of the situation he was in,” Mr McGarry said.
He had earlier asked for the accused to be left without a criminal record, but Judge Smyth said he was going to proceed to conviction and fined the accused.
Previously, Garda James Smith said he and another plainclothes officer witnessed Viturino masturbating.
The shop’s toilet had become known among a small group of the gay community as a venue to engage in sexual activities, the court heard.
Marks & Spencer had received reports that the incidents had been going on for a number of months.
Staff tried to stop it but gardaí had to become involved.
Viturino did not go there specifically to engage in sexual activities, but while there he was aware it was going on, and he tried to communicate with a male in the toilet, Mr McGarry said.