Two teenage schoolboys, who have pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting another boy in Dublin, will go on trial in May.
The pair, both aged 15, were charged with sexual assault which allegedly occurred in a public location in south Dublin on a date in June last year. They were aged 14 at the time.
The Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended trial on indictment in the circuit court which can impose lengthier sentences.
However, following a preliminary hearing, Judge Brendan Toale accepted jurisdiction for the case to remain in the Children’s Court.
The court can do so taking into account defence submissions about age and level of maturity, as well as other relevant factors. It is provided for under section 75 of the Children Act.
The boys were excused from attending court today when Judge Toale ordered that the non-jury hearing will take place over four days in May. It will also involve evidence given via video-link.
The case will be listed for mention in April to confirm compliance with an order for disclosure of prosecution evidence to the defence.
Not guilty pleas were entered by the boys when they were accompanied to court by family members in January. They remain on bail.
Earlier, Detective Garda Alan Young told the court that one youth made no reply to charge.
The second boy’s response to charge was “I’m definitely not guilty”, Detective Garda David McNally had told the court.
The Garda Youth Diversion Bureau found the case was not suitable for a juvenile caution.
The boys must not, as a condition of bail, have any contact, directly or indirectly, with the complainant.