Man avoids jail for sexual assault on his half-sister

A man who sexually assaulted his half-sister having offered her a lift home from a house party has been given a suspended sentence.

The 34-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 20-year-old victim, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of sexual assault on June 16, 2012. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said he thought he could glean from the accused man’s behaviour before and since that this was a one off event and noted there was no gratuitous violence.

He imposed a two and a half year sentence which he suspended in full. He said an offer of €5,000 from the accused man had played no part in his decision.

Garda Barry O’Shea told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, the then 18-year-old asked her brother to pick her up from a party because she was feeling unwell. He had almost arrived at her home when he decided to instead go to his house to get her some tablets.

While on the way to his home, the man put his hand on her leg and sexually assaulted her.

Garda O’Shea said the teenager later told gardaí she was afraid and pretended to be asleep. The man sexually assaulted her again in the same manner on the return journey to her family home, while she again pretended to be asleep.

On arrival at her home he asked her what she thought about what had happened.

She said what he had done was wrong and immediately told her mother what had happened. She reported him to the gardaí the following month. The man was arrested and made immediate admissions.

Mary Rose Gearty, defending, told Garda O’Shea her client had €5,000 in court as a token as he hoped the victim may be able to use it towards counselling.

He accepted that the pair had been very close up until the incident, which has destroyed both families.

Ms Gearty handed in letters from her client’s mother, brother and sister, which stated that while the support the man they are also supporting the victim.

Ms McGowan said the victim had no appetite to take the €5,000 offered by the accused man.


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