Young man acquitted of sex assaults after four day trial

December 20, 2022

A jury has acquitted a young Donegal man charged with eight counts of sexual assault.

The trial last four days at Donegal Circuit Court which sat at Letterkenny Courthouse.

The man, now aged in his 20s, was found not guilty of one of the charges by direction of the trial judge, Judge John Aylmer.

On the fourth day of the trial at Donegal Circuit Court, a jury of six men and six women took just under two hours to return unanimous not guilty verdicts on each of the other seven charges.

The jury deliberated for one hour and 50 minutes before delivering the verdicts.

The case was held in camera at Letterkenny courthouse and lasted four days.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accompanied by his parents for the duration of the trial.

Counsel for the State, Ms Patricia McLaughlin BL, said there were eight incidents where the defendant was accused of touching the woman, who is a relative, in an indecent way.

The court heard that the alleged incidents began when the woman was aged 10 and the defendant was 13 and continued for a period of between four and seven years.

The last alleged incident occurred after the girl had disclosed to her parents that she was sexually assaulted.

The man was subsequently arrested and interviewed by Gardai and denied each of the charges.

The woman, who is now aged in her 20s, said she fled out a window onto the roof of her house after the first incident.

On that occasion, she alleged that the accused rubbed his hands over her chest area and moved down to her hips.

“I was scared,” she said. “I climbed out the window because I didn’t like what he was doing. I asked him to stop touching me.”

The charges related to dates unknown between June, 2010 and January, 2017.

Among the charges faced by the accused were that he sexually assaulted the woman by digitally penetrating her vagina.

He was also charged with sexually assaulting the woman by: touching her buttocks and breasts; touching her breasts and rubbing his penis against her buttocks; touching her breasts; touching her breasts and genitals and rubbing his penis against her leg; touching her breasts and rubbing his penis against her buttock.

The man also faced two charges of rubbing his penis against the complainant’s buttocks and back on separate dates.

The man pleaded not guilty to each charge when they were read to him by the court registrar.