independent

Sunday 16 June 2019

Priest sees sex case collapse

The Wicklow priest charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl has seen his case dramatically collapse at the Circuit Court.Fr. Chris Conroy (72), of 10 Rocky Road, Wicklow, was facing two counts of allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in June and July of 2000. On the first day of the trial, the court heard from the girl that the first incident occurred on the day t

The Wicklow priest charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl has seen his case dramatically collapse at the Circuit Court.

Fr. Chris Conroy (72), of 10 Rocky Road, Wicklow, was facing two counts of allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in June and July of 2000. On the first day of the trial, the court heard from the girl that the first incident occurred on the day that she went on a shopping trip with the elderly cleric before later attending a disco.

However, the second day saw Counsel for the Defence, Mr. Richard N. Keane SC, point out that the shopping trip and the disco had occurred on two successive days, rather than the same day. He submitted that if the girl was wrong about that, 'she could be wrong about everything'.

Judge Pat McCartan agreed that the prosecution case was flawed as a result of the discrepancy. As the matter could not be corrected since the girl's evidence was complete, he ruled it would be incorrect to proceed with the trial.

He remanded the priest on continuing bail to appear before the next sitting of the court, when a date for a re-trial is to be fixed.

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