327 court cases involving sexual defilement of a child in the past decade

327 court cases involving sexual defilement of a child in the past decade

There have been 327 court cases involving sexual defilement of a child in Ireland over the past decade.

According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, 22 cases have been directed to go to court this year.

Defilement involves engaging or attempting to engage in a sexual act with a child.

An offence against a child under the age of 15 can carry a sentence of life imprisonment.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed 146 of these cases for prosecution in the courts since 2009.

There have been 11 so far this year, which is the same as in all of last year.

An offence against a child between 15 and 17 years old carries a jail term of up to ten years.

The DPP has directed 181 of these cases for prosecution since 2009, including 11 this year and 18 in 2018.

Eve Farrelly, from the Children at Risk in Ireland Foundation, says there's a huge problem with child sex abuse in Ireland.

She adds that the defilement figures don't show the full extent of the problem because child-abusers can also face other charges, such as sexual assault or rape of a child.

"The level of child sexual abuse in Ireland is high," she said.

"There's a new kind of wave of sexual abuse that's coming to the children in Ireland and all over the world as well where children are being abused by other children and that children are also being abused by young adults and the abuse can be quite significant."

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