Card game forfeit led to indecent assault on teenager

A 21-year-old man who brought three teenagers for a weekend away indecently assaulted one of them in what was set up as a series of dares after the 14-year-old boy lost a game of cards.

Kieran Kavanagh was 21 when he indecently assaulted the teenager at a seaside mobile home in 1993.

The victim said yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: “For 20 years I have carried this disgusting secret and that ends today.”

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed an 18-month sentence on Kavanagh, and wondered why the accused insisted on offering €1,500 compensation even though he knew the victim made it clear that he did not want it, would not take it, and that his view was that it was never about compensation.

Kavanagh’s address was given as 13 Upper William St, Limerick.

Garda Gary Costello outlined what happened on that summer’s evening in 1993 when Kavanagh brought the teenagers away for a weekend. They played a game of cards, and the victim lost.

Kavanagh told him the loser had to agree to three dares and that he had to drive him away from the mobile home to the seaside.

Defence SC Ciaran O’Loughlin described what happened next as bizarre. Garda Costello said Kavanagh first told the victim to pull down his pants and underpants. Secondly, he said they should each put their penis through the gap between the headrest and the car seat and thirdly, they should press their backsides against the nearest window.

Throughout these three dares, Kavanagh made various attempts to touch the victim on his penis and backside.

The victim said yesterday that, before this happened, Kavanagh used to praise him every time he played sport but afterwards criticised him and no longer gave him a lift after a match.

The victim said he would not have thought that a life could be turned upside down in an hour but that was precisely what happened. He even became suicidal and, at the age of 16, took 27 tablets and was sad to wake up the next day.

Judge Ó Donnabháin described the indecent assault as a breach of trust. He said the real importance of the guilty plea by Kavanagh was it vindicated the victim.


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