THE Rape Crisis Network (RCNI) has said the one-year jail term imposed on a middle-aged man who videotaped himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl was “outrageous” and called for the sentence to be appealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The organisation said it is “appalled at what this case and sentence tells us about our standards of child protection”.
RCNI director Fiona Neary said the State’s attitude to child protection, particularly for vulnerable teenagers, must be clear and unambiguous from legislation to sentencing. So far, she added, this message was not being communicated by judges or the Government.
Ms Neary said Anthony Nagle exploited a child for his own gratification and made child pornography out of the abuse.
The victim was celebrating her Junior Cert results when Nagle, a “family friend”, bought her 24 bottles of WKD alcopop and gave her cannabis and cigarettes, before videotaping the sex acts.
“This man committed a number of very serious sexual offences against a child,” said Ms Neary.
“Mr Nagle was a trusted friend of the family. His offences involved luring the child to his home on false pretences. It involved premeditatedly buying alcohol and plying the child with it and cannabis, it involved lying to the child’s mother about her location while he was in the act of sexually abusing her. It involved videotaping this abuse, it involved continuing the sexual exploitation over a period of hours and while the child was semi-conscious under the influence of the alcohol and drugs,” she said.
Nagle could have faced a term of 14 years as he admitted making and possessing child pornography and sexually exploiting a child.
“In a plea for mitigation, which included an apology, Nagle’s team attempted to paint the semi-conscious 15-year-old child as sexually provocative and Nagle as an unfortunate victim. Is this a man who has taken responsibility for his actions? Is this a man who, if he had not been caught, would have any regrets about his actions? He may well have believed there would be little consequences for his actions. With the sentence handed down he was right on that count.”
The RCNI said the court had not provided any incentives towards Nagle seeking treatment. According to CARI, the child abuse counselling service, there are just eight treatment places yet 250 people in prison on child sex abuse charges. Nagle is now on the sex offenders’ register.
The office of the DPP was last night unable to comment on this case and the likelihood of an appeal.
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