Man abused girls during ‘chase and tickle’ game

A man who admitted playing a game of “chase and tickle” with young girls on a summer day in 1996 but denied any indecency has been found guilty of sexually assaulting three of the girls during the game.

Greg Crosbie, aged 45, of Owenahincha, Rosscarbery, Co Cork, denied three counts of sexual assault at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

He was found guilty by the jury in a unanimous verdict on each of the three counts yesterday.

Judge Petria McDonnell adjourned sentencing until Nov 21. Jane Hyland, prosecuting, said victim impact statements would have to be prepared.

Despite objections to bail from Det Sgt David Treacy, the judge said she would allow Crosbie out on continuing bail, noting that Det Sgt Treacy already had Crosbie’s passport.

The judge said that the defendant would need time to put his affairs in order in advance of sentencing. Crosbie will have to sign daily at Clonakilty Garda Station and keep a curfew between 8pm and 8am.

During his trial, Crosbie said: “There is no truth to any of these allegations, none, it is totally not true, no truth to it whatsoever, none.”

Three women gave evidence of being sexually assaulted by the accused at his home in Cork City when they were aged 10 and 11 on the day in question.

Asked about the first complainant’s evidence that he touched her vagina, Crosbie said: “I was playing with her, playing chase and tickle. I asked them specifically if they wanted to play chase and tickle. We ran in and out. I can only say I tickled them under the arms and on their sides. There was no inappropriate touching.”

Tom Creed, the senior counsel for the defence, said there had to be an intention to assault somebody sexually for the offence of sexual assault to be committed.

In that regard, he asked Crosbie during the trial if it was possible that there was an accidental touching. The accused replied: “I am not aware of it but it is possible, yes.”

Asked about pulling off another complainant’s skirt during a chase, Crosbie said it was absurd and that it never happened.

Asked about putting his hand between the legs of the third complainant and touching her vagina, Crosbie denied it and said: “There is a lot of reference to chasing and tickling in their testimony but there was only one game of chasing and tickling.”


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