A jury has found a Donegal man guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl at a teenage disco when he was 15.
The 20-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s anonymity, was alleged to have pushed the girl into the women’s toilets and raped her in a cubicle.
The pair were seen kissing shortly before the incidentat the the youth disco.
The man pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and sexual assault of the girl at a nightclub in a Co Donegal town in December 2010.
The jury returned the unanimous verdicts of guilty on both charges. Before the jury began deliberating, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan had instructed it that, while consent was a constituent legal factor in rape, a person under 15 could not consent.
Ms Justice Heneghan told the jury that, when a person below a certain age engaged in sexual activity, it would not be consent even if the person appeared an enthusiastic participant.
The man’s defence had put it to the woman that the couple were “shifting” at the disco and had gone to the toilet for privacy where “they were fondling and it got out of hand”. The woman denied this version of events.
The judge remanded the accused in custody after hearing that he had previously breached the conditions of his bail a number of times. He will be sentenced in March.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved