Meath man found guilty of repeated rape and sexual assault of teenage sister

Meath man found guilty of repeated rape and sexual assault of teenage sister

By Isabel Hayes

A Meath man has been found guilty of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting his teenage sister 35 years ago.

The 49-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim, was today found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of four counts of raping and three counts of sexually assaulting his sister at various locations between 1983 and 1990.

The man was found not guilty of one count of sexually assaulting his sister in their father’s car in 1982. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges. The jury returned the unanimous verdicts after six hours of deliberations following a week-long trial.

The woman told the trial that the abuse started at some point after she made her confirmation, from when she was aged between approximately 14 and 20 years’ old. Her brother is a year older than her.

She described how her brother assaulted her in fields and wooded areas near her home, in a shed and in the family home. She said the abuse started with her brother touching and tickling her and later progressed to rape.

The woman became extremely distressed while describing the abuse and took several breaks to compose herself, at one point prompting Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy to express concern for her well-being.

The woman said she was too afraid to confide in her parents and that her brother told her repeatedly that no-one would believe her and she would be “put out” of the family home.

“I didn’t know how to tell somebody,” she said. “He was my brother - brothers shouldn’t do things to their sisters.”

The woman said she told her brother she didn’t want him to touch her “every single time”. “He didn’t care. He really, really didn’t care,” she said. “I couldn’t understand how he didn’t care. I was his sister. Why was he doing this?”

The woman said the “final straw” came on her 21st birthday, when an extended member of the family revealed he knew what her brother was doing to her and propositioned her for sex.

“It was like a stab in the back,” the woman said of that incident. “That night I thought, (my brother) is never going to rape me, sexually abuse me, have his penis near me ever again.”

The woman eventually confided in her future husband about the abuse, but did not tell the rest of her family until 2011. The man was charged in 2015 and denied all allegations of wrong-doing to gardaí.

Following the verdicts, Ms Justice Murphy thanked the jury for their service during what she said was at times a “harrowing” trial. She exempted them from jury duty for 10 years.

The man was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on February 19.

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