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US prosecutor urges extradition of ex-GAA coach on child rape charges

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The chief federal prosecutor for northern New York has told a court Irish authorities have provided sufficient evidence to warrant the extradition of a former GAA coach wanted on almost 400 child abuse charges.

A 17-page court filing on behalf of United States Attorney Grant Jaquith reveals the level of evidence built up against the suspect, who fled Ireland six years ago.

It outlined that a summary of the Garda investigation and descriptions of the evidence incriminating the former coach had been supplied to US authorities. The evidence outlined to US authorities includes summaries of lengthy statements made by the alleged victims, references to the statements of corroborating witnesses and descriptions of corroborating physical evidence seized from the suspect's home.

A sworn affidavit was supplied by a senior prosecution solicitor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, while additional information was provided by another Irish prosecutor. The man has been in custody since January 16 and is due to appear in court in Albany, New York, on Friday.

It is unclear whether the suspect will seek to fight the extradition request.

He has been assigned legal representation from the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

The man is charged with 210 counts of sexual assault, 177 counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, three counts of assault causing harm, one count each of false imprisonment, damage to property and harassment. The charges relate to the alleged abuse of two boys between 2004 and 2009.

One alleged victim disclosed to gardaĆ­ in November 2012 that he had been sexually abused by the man when he was between the ages of 11 and 16.

In September 2013, a second alleged victim came forward and provided a detailed statement of "relentless sexual abuse" allegedly inflicted upon him by the coach between 2004 and 2006, beginning when he was aged 13.

The abuse was alleged to have occurred primarily at a sports ground, but also in the suspect's home and other locations, including hotel rooms.

It is alleged this boy was groomed by the suspect from the age of 12, with the former coach giving him jobs to do, gifts, money and trips away from a difficult home life.

Irish Independent