Thursday 22 February 2018

Man faces 91 charges including rape and sexual abuse of nieces

Sonya McLean

A CARLOW man has gone on trial charged with raping and sexually abusing his nieces in their family home and abusing their next door neighbour over a period of eight years.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 91 charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault against the three girls in a Carlow town between February 1978 and December 1986.

The man has been charged with 28 counts of indecently assaulting and 26 charges of raping the first complainant from the time she was almost seven until she was 13..

He has been charged with 25 counts of indecently assaulting and one charge of raping the second complainant, her old sister, from when she was seven to 12 years old.

The man is also charged with 10 counts of indecently assaulting the girls’ next-door neighbour and attempting to rape her on one occasion when she was between eight and 13.

Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, told the jury that the man moved into the family home of the two sisters when his own parents died in the mid-1970s.

She said the first complainant, now 39,  will give evidence that her uncle first started to abuse her when she was about six and half years old.

Ms Biggs said it was the State’s case that this abuse involved the man forcing his penis into the girl’s mouth, getting her to hold his penis, touching her genitals and raping her.

She said the woman would testify that the abuse happened up to five times per week for six years.

Counsel said the woman’s older sister, now 42, would also tell the jury that she was abused twice a week by the man over five years.

It is alleged that the abuse involved the man forcing the girl to perform oral sex on him, digital penetration of her vagina and putting his penis near her anus.

Ms Biggs said the final complainant, now 43, who was a very close friend of the older sister, would tell the jury that she was also abused by the man on a least ten occasions over the course of five years from the time she about eight.

It is the State’s case that this abuse involved the man forcing the girl to perform oral sex on him, him performing oral sex on her and touching her vagina. There is also one allegation of attempted rape in relation to this woman.

Ms Biggs said it is alleged that most of the abuse occurred in rooms in the girl’s family home but also in a garden shed.

There are also three separate allegations in relation to the younger sister in an area in Kildare, and two separate locations in a Carlow town.

The final location was the recently purchased new home of the accused, into which he moved in the mid-1980s.

Ms Biggs said that although their uncle moved out of their home, he continued to regularly visit their house over the following year.

The trial, which has been called on for two weeks, continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a  jury of three women and nine men.

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