A Kilkenny man who claimed he was in a consensual sexual relationship with his younger cousin will be sentenced next week for rape and sexual assault of the then 14-year-old.
The 48-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 32-year-old-man, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury last month of 15 counts of rape and oral rape and one charge of sexual assault following a trial.
The victim’s father left him to live him with his cousin in a rural town in Kilkenny when he was 14 and the man was aged 30.
The man told gardaí when arrested that there was a consensual sexual relationship between them when the teenager turned 16, having initially denied any inappropriate contact.
“I was lonely and stuck with him,” he told officers. He said he suggested to the victim that “we might as well be having sex from what everyone is saying” before he said the teenager “more or less offered it to me”.
He said his cousin “probably thought I was going to throw him out” if he didn’t agree to sex, but claimed he would never have made him leave.
“I know it was wrong. I had a right to go somewhere and look for a woman. We got on too well and that’s what led us down that road,” he said in interview.
The man told gardaí the teenager had had a hard life and he felt sorry for him, before he admitted that they had sexual contact roughly two or three times per week for over three years.
The victim told gardaí he was first raped by the man after he came into his bedroom one night and threatened to shoot both him and his father if he told anyone about “what was about to happen”. He then used cooking oils as a lubricant before raping the teenager.
A local garda told Michael Delaney, prosecuting, that the man regularly forced the teenager to perform oral sex on him and also performed oral sex on the boy himself.
There was also evidence during the trial of the man being violent towards the teenager, with the victim saying that his cousin was often drunk; he once pushed him to the ground and kicked him in the stomach.
He left the home they shared as an 18-year-old after the man punched him and he returned the punch, sending his cousin over the back of the couch.
The victim was encouraged by his then partner to make a complaint to gardaí which he did in March 2008. The man was arrested in December 2009.
The local garda agreed with Aidan Doyle, defending, that the man only had minor previous convictions arising out of his alcohol addiction.
She agreed the teenager had effectively been abandoned by his parents and left in the care of his cousin.
“He accepted that what occurred was wrong. He made an attempt to apologise. He doesn’t see the relationship the way the complainant did,” said Mr Doyle.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy remanded the man in custody and adjourned sentencing until February 8.
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