Tuesday 23 July 2019

Ex-GAA coach faces US extradition on child abuse charges

The Homeland Security Department headquarters in north-west Washington DC (AP)
The Homeland Security Department headquarters in north-west Washington DC (AP)
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A former GAA sports coach who was arrested in the US on almost 400 child abuse charges will find out if he will be forced to leave the country following his extradition hearing later this week.

The man is alleged to have abused two children between 2004 and 2009 in the sports grounds where he was a "well-known and well-liked" member of a small sporting community, according to court papers lodged in the US.

Many of the alleged offences took place in a sports ground and small stadium where the alleged abuser coached under-age teams and helped with administration.

The man was arrested at his home shortly before 7.30pm last Wednesday.

He appeared in court the following day and is due back for an extradition hearing on Friday.

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.

Gardaí began investigating the allegations in 2012 when one of the two complainants came forward. They encountered a second alleged victim during the course of that investigation.

According to court records, the man is accused of grooming the alleged victim by giving him "a job, gifts, money and trips away".

The suspect is now facing charges of sexually abusing this boy multiple times, from the age of 13. According to court records, the former coach was no longer in the country and had travelled to the US and UK.

In September last year, gardaí went through diplomatic channels to request US authorities to help trace the man in America.

Homeland Security officers found him in an apartment in the town of Guilderland, a suburb of Albany, north of New York, where he had been living since April last year.

The authorities used utility bills and postal records to confirm his new address.

Irish Independent

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