Sunday 18 August 2019

Patient (62) faces trial for alleged sex assault on hospital teen

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Ralph Riegel

An elderly man charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl on the hospital ward they were sharing told gardaí he had only "shook her hand".

The 62-year-old man appeared before Cork District Court and will be returned for trial by judge and jury to Cork Circuit Criminal Court next October.

The 17-year-old girl alleged that she was awoken at around 5am on a ward in Cork University Hospital (CUH) on May 14, 2018 when she claimed she felt her private parts being touched.

Gardaí were told the girl had been asleep but was awoken when she alleged she felt both her breasts and vagina being touched.

The man, when cautioned by gardaí about the disputed incident, replied: "I did nothing to that girl - I just shook her hand."

It was stated the man was sharing the hospital ward with the teen at the time.

Judge Olann Kelleher was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had consented to the matter being dealt with at Cork District Court only on the basis of a guilty plea.

The defendant has formally denied the matter. He will now face trial before Cork Circuit Criminal Court during its autumn sessions.

Evidence of arrest, caution and charge was previously given by Detective Garda Caroline Keogh.

Judge Kelleher heard a brief outline of the matter to determine whether he would accept jurisdiction in the case.

Judge Kelleher remanded the defendant on continuing bail.

He must sign on once a week at a Garda station in Co Cork.

Irish Independent

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