A 76-year-old man has gone on trial charged with 28 counts of indecent and/or sexual assault of four children (persons under the age of 15) at various non-specific dates during the decade or so between 1988 and 1999.
He denies all charges.
The man is in ill health and the jury has been told there are to be shortened sittings on medical advice. The man, who was allowed to sit during the lengthy arraignment, answered “not guilty” to each of the 27 charges put to him yesterday, and to the single charge put to him on Tuesday. The reading out of the charges to him had to pause briefly while the man was given water.
The trial, at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee, is expected to take at least three weeks.
The man has denied all 28 charges. Thirteen of the charges including four indecent assaults and nine sexual assaults relate to a female under the age of 15 at various periods between Sep 1990 and Jun 1992.
Seven sexual assaults are alleged to have been perpetrated by the man on another girl, again under the age of 15, between Feb 1994 and Aug 1994.
The man is also accused of sexually abusing two males under the age of 15 — of sexually assaulting one boy twice on dates unknown between 1988 and 1998, and of indecently assaulting another boy six times on dates unknown between Feb 1989 and Jan 1990.
Judge Carroll Moran has told the jury of six men and six women who were sworn in on Tuesday that the sittings over the three weeks or so of the trial would be short, and there would be “odd hours” during the hearing, largely because of the man’s ill health.
Legal argument took place for some time yesterday in the absence of the jury and the trial resumes on Tuesday.
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