By Tom Tuite
A teenager has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a girl who alleged he touched her after she refused to perform a lewd act on him.
The boy, aged 17, is accused of false imprisonment and sexual assault of a then 15-year-old girl in a public place, in Tallaght, Dublin two years ago.
The teen told gardai he was socially awkward and shy and that he used sexual jokes, but he denied the girl's claims, the Dublin Children’s Court heard.
In an outline of the prosecution evidence, for the purpose of deciding the teen’s trial venue, Garda Kieran Kilcoyne said it was alleged it happened in a public place when the girl was walking home from a friend’s house, a distance of about 1.5km, at about 8.50pm.
She was almost back on her own road when she noticed the accused and another younger-looking boy.
The girl, who was interviewed by child specialist gardai, alleges the accused, who was known to her, called her name and she replied, “What?”.
It was alleged the boy, then aged 15, asked her, “Can you give me head?” and she replied “No” and continued walking but he followed her.
He asked her again but she kept saying no, it was claimed.
The girl told gardai the teenager then grabbed her from behind and put his hands on either side of her waist, “hard enough that she could not move”. Garda Kilcoyne said the girl maintained that when he let go she managed to walk on but he followed and moved in front of her.
It was alleged he was facing her and holding her by the shoulders and breast area, which prevented her from walking forward and he said, “Give me a hug.”
Garda Kilcoyne said it was alleged the girl managed to get him off by walking backwards but he grabbed her waist.
He was still holding her when the other boy spoke up and said to him, “Fuck, that is like rape” but the accused, laughing, replied, “No,” the court was told.
The accused kept holding her by the waist when she tried to walk on but she managed to pull away from him by walking backwards.
The younger boy asked the youth to move away from her but the court heard the accused allegedly replied, “Wait, I’m getting something.”
The girl got away and reached her house at 9.40pm and told her mother who reported it to gardai that night.
Garda Kilcoyne said the incident has made the girl “feel sick when she goes out the house”.
When the youth was interviewed, he told gardai he was socially awkward and had been shy in school but he thought she was his friend.
He told gardai he made sexual jokes a lot but he never meant to scare her or make her think it was sexual harassment. He also denied touching her breast.
Judge O’Connor said it was a serious case but he accepted jurisdiction for it to stay in the Children’s Court instead of sending it to the Circuit Court which has tougher sentencing powers.
Defence counsel Morgan Shelley told the court his client was pleading not guilty.
The trial date has yet to be confirmed and the youth, who was accompanied to court by his parents, was remanded on continuing bail.
The court heard he was taking part in an educational course and wanted to go on to university.
He has been warned that he cannot have any contact with the complainant or witnesses.