Tuesday 16 January 2018

Exclusive: Detective suspended after 'demanding sexual favours'

The officer is the third garda from the same district to be suspended, transferred or disciplined over separate sexual assault cases. Stock picture
The officer is the third garda from the same district to be suspended, transferred or disciplined over separate sexual assault cases. Stock picture

Cathal McMahon and Ralph Riegel

A detective has been suspended and is under investigation after a woman accused him of demanding sexual favours.

The officer is the third garda from the same district to be suspended, transferred or disciplined over separate sexual assault cases.

Sources said a woman walked into a station, which cannot be named, and asked to speak with a senior officer to report a crime.

The woman, who is in her 30s and a member of a criminal family, alleged a detective in the same district had demanded sexual favours in return for concealing certain offences.

"She accused him of asking to receive sexual favours in return for perverting the course of justice," a senior source told the Irish Independent.

"She made a full statement to the senior officer about this detective, who was subsequently suspended with full pay."

Legal sources said this involves Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald (pictured), the Attorney General and named gardaí. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Legal sources said this involves Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald (pictured), the Attorney General and named gardaí. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The woman who has made the allegations has a number of teenage children and has previously been before the courts for theft and fraud offences.

Sources said the officer at the centre of the investigation comes from a well-respected family.

"Anyone aware of it is completely shocked by the allegations against him," a source said.

The matter has been handed over to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation, and first came to the attention of gardaí in July 2016.

The Irish Independent has learned that the officer who took the original complaint is the same man who is now under investigation for the alleged sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl.

This officer was previously accused of raping a woman in a car in August 2013 and was suspended from duty for a period of time.

During the alleged attack it was claimed he detailed child sex fantasies. A GSOC investigation was carried out into the allegation but the Director of Public Prosecutions directed no prosecution be taken.

The garda was permitted to return to work but was subsequently accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl and has since been suspended from the force for a second time.

Yesterday the 'Sunday Independent' revealed how this same officer is taking legal action against An Garda Síochána, the State and named officers over his alleged treatment during the original investigation.

The officer involved alleges he was the victim of biased and unfair treatment during the original investigation by a fellow officer.

It has emerged that a senior officer charged with leading the investigation into the rape claims had previously been in a relationship with the woman involved. The senior officer was married and, despite the relationship with the single woman at the centre of the rape claim, did not excuse himself from the investigation.

The officer was subsequently transferred and was the focus of disciplinary action following a GSOC review.

A civil action by the garda member originally accused of the rape is now at an advanced stage.

Legal sources said this involves Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald, the Attorney General and named gardaí.

A formal statement of claim was notified to the various defendants last year.

However, it is understood no details of a defence have yet been signalled by the State or other defendants.

If the matter is not resolved, a trial date is expected to be set for later this year.

A source familiar with the case acknowledged that the allegations involved are "potentially very serious for the entire force".

Mrs Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan have been personally contacted by various parties in relation to the shocking allegations over the garda district involved.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said they do not comment on ongoing investigations and or the outcome of internal investigations.

A spokesperson for GSOC said they had no comment.

Irish Independent

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