Jury convicts man of raping wife's 13-year-old niece

A Waterford man has been found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of raping his wife’s niece 13 year ago.

The jury convicted the man on two counts of sex assault and one count of rape after a total of five and a half hours deliberating. It was a majority verdict on day-6 of the trial.

The man had pleaded not guilty to all the charges on dates between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1997.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy thanked the jury members for their care and attention to the trial and registered the man as a sex offender.

The now 25-year-old complainant had described in evidence how the man made her touch his penis more than once in sheds near his home while out for walks on his land.

She said her uncle-in-law raped her after calling her upstairs to “show” her something the last time she stayed at his house when they were alone together.

He adjourned the matter for sentencing later.

The complainant told Mr Gerard Clarke SC, prosecuting, that she recalled being downstairs watching television in her nightdress the night of the alleged rape, when the man called her upstairs to show her something.

The woman described seeing her uncle-in-law under the covers touching himself as she walked into his bedroom minutes later.

She said he invited her into bed then grabbed her and raped her.

The woman said afterwards she went into the bathroom but couldn’t go to the toilet because she was too sore.

She told Mr Clarke (with Ms Fiona Murphy BL) that she noticed bleeding several days after the alleged incident but realised this was not her period because she didn’t hit maturity till some years later.

The woman said on one other occasion her uncle-in-law put his penis in her mouth.

The man’s daughter said in evidence that she was always with the complainant when she came to visit her family home.

The 28-year-old woman told Ms Isobel Kennedy SC, defending, that her mother was a homemaker and would have also been around whenever the complainant stayed with the family during school holidays.

The woman said her father would work overtime in summer and might not return home till 8pm weeknights. She also recalled him working Saturdays.

The man denied the charges in his garda interviews.

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