Carlow man acquitted of raping nieces, jury undecided on sexual abuse charges

A Carlow man has been acquitted of raping his nieces over 30 years ago, but the jury has failed to agree on charges he sexually abused the girls and their next door neighbour.

The 51-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 91 charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault of the three girls in a Carlow town between February 1978 and December 1986.

The man had been charged with 28 counts of indecently assaulting and 26 charges of raping a first complainant, his niece, from the time she was almost seven until she was 13 years old.

He had been charged with 25 counts of indecently assaulting and one count of raping a second complainant, her old sister, from when she was seven to 12 years old.

The man was also charged with 10 counts of indecently assaulting the girls’ next door neighbour and attempting to rape her on one occasion when she was between eight and 13 years old.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy previously directed the jury to acquit the man on one count of indecently assaulting the younger niece on dates between May and August, 1986.

Today the jury of three women and nine men acquitted the man on all 27 counts of raping his nieces.

It failed to reach a majority decision on the remaining 63 charges of indecently assaulting the three girls and attempting to rape the third complainant. There was no reaction to the verdicts in court.

The jury had been deliberating for almost eleven and half hours since Friday. It was day eleven of the trial.

Mr Justice McCarthy said it was “perfectly plain” that the jury had paid careful attention during the trial and excused the members from jury service for life.

He remanded the man on continuing bail and adjourned the case to the next list to fix dates in the Central Criminal Court when it is expected a date for re-trial will be set.


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