By Tom Tuite
A Dublin teenager has been charged with sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.
The 17-year-old boy appeared before a sitting of the Dublin Children’s Court charged with two counts of sexual assault and one attempted sexual assault.
The incidents are alleged to have happened in north Dublin on dates in 2016 after which specialist interviews with the girl were conducted as part of the investigation.
Judge Timothy Lucey heard that the boy made no reply when he was charged in January after he, in the presence of his mother, met gardai by arrangement.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had recommended that the case was suitable to be dealt with in the juvenile court rather than in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.
Judge Lucey asked to hear an outline of the allegations for the purpose of making a ruling on the teen’s trial venue.
Garda Catherine McEvoy told the court that in 2016 a couple made a report to gardai that their daughter had disclosed that she had been inappropriately touched.
It was alleged that, “the disclosure came out when the family were away on holiday and the victim saw her father coming out of the bathroom naked and asked her mother, ‘Why is Daddy’s willy down when X’s (the teenage defendant) does be pointing up?’.”
The court heard the girl also told her mother that she had seen the teenager’s penis because his trousers had fallen down. It was also alleged he touched her backside five times, with her trousers up and down, and that he tried to touch her vagina area but she did not let him, the court was told.
The girl would have been aged six at the time, the garda said.
The two families were known to each other and the incidents allegedly occurred at the teen's home.
The boy, who was accompanied to hearing by his mother, has not yet indicated how he will plead. He was aged 15 at the time of the allegations.
Judge Timothy Lucey said that based on the outline of the evidence he agreed with the DPP’s recommendation and he held the case could be dealt with at Children’s Court level.
He made an order for disclosure of the prosecution evidence to the boy’s lawyers.
Defence counsel Damian McKeone said additional disclosure of specialist interviews held with the girl would be also be sought.
State solicitor Terry Hamilton responded that the defence would have to seek the specialist interview material in writing and it could only be released under strict conditions.
There was no objection to bail and the boy, who spoke to his mother and his barrister to confirm his next hearing date, was ordered to appear again in March.
Legal aid was granted.