Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting two girls

Two arson attacks were carried out on the home of a middle-aged man who showed adult pornography to two seven-year-old girls and sexually assaulted them in the basement of his home.

Aidan Anthony (known as Tony) Lacey, 55, who has returned to live in his native Wexford, living at Sheilbaggan, Ramsgrange, New Ross, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the two girls in the basement workshop of his home in Kerry between Jan 2007 and Feb 2008.

It is not possible to report on some of the circumstances giving rise to the crimes as it could lead to the identification of the victims.

A detective garda outlined the case to prosecution barrister Siobhán Lankford at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

The two girls, who were due to make their First Holy Communion in the period after these offences, were playing in Lacey’s house. He showed the girls adult pornographic videos, and when they asked what it was about he explained the mechanics of the sexual act to them.

The defendant used to play games in the basement. As part of that, he took his pants and underwear down exposing his penis to them. On occasions they pulled his pants down in what he described as a game, and he encouraged them to take down their underwear exposing their private parts.

The only physical contact occurred when he put them over his shoulder and tapped them on the bare bottom.

The mother of one child was told by her daughter as she was changing her infant son’s nappy and gently tapping his bottom: “That is what Tony does to us.”

One of the girls told her mother that what she described as what looked like Nurofen gel came out of the defendant’s penis.

In victim impact reports, both mothers said that their daughters had been badly affected by the sexual assaults and for a long time afterwards they had to be reassured that the windows and doors in their houses were locked as they were afraid.

Judge Moran said he wanted to see counsellors’ reports on the children and he adjourned sentencing until today.

The investigating detective confirmed that two arson attacks had been carried out at the defendant’s home when the crimes came to light locally, although there was no suggestion of any involvement by the families of the injured parties.

Further evidence, including any mitigating evidence, will be given in court today when the sentencing hearing resumes.


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