by Tom Tuite
A youth has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a young girl after she fell asleep.
The 18-year-old man faced his second hearing when he appeared before Judge John O’Connor at the Dublin Children’s Court on Tuesday.
He is charged with sexual assault of the girl, then aged 14, at an apartment in north Dublin on date last July. The youth who was aged 17, a juvenile at the time of the alleged incident entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday.
Judge O’Connor ordered that the trial would take place in July.
The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his solicitor, had been arrested in a midlands town and charged.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that the case could be dealt with at Children’s Court level and not in the Circuit Court, which can impose lengthier sentences.
Earlier, Detective Garda Michael Harkin gave an outline of the prosecution evidence.
He said the girl’s sister was in a relationship with a member of the youth’s family. It was alleged the girl fell asleep on a couch in the apartment, and the youth attempted to sexually assault her, but she woke up and pushed him away.
It was reported immediately to gardaí, and the girl was taken to a sexual assault treatment unit for an examination. The court heard she has been left very traumatised. Judge O'Connor has accepted jurisdiction for the case to remain in the juvenile court.