A Meath man who used Facebook to try to solicit a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old sister into having sex with him has been jailed for three years.
The 22-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identities, met with the older girl on three occasions and carried out sexual acts. Transcripts from Facebook conversations showed he tried to convince her to bring her sister along on one occasion, saying they “could train her”.
The man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to defilement in November 2012 and to soliciting a child to engage in a sexual act on the same date.
The girls’ mother told the court in a victim impact report that she will never feel safe for her children again. She said her older daughter’s childhood was ruined by the man, who inflicted “an extra cruelty” on her by waiting so long to plead guilty.
The mother said that, because of the delay in pleading guilty, she had to prepare the child to give evidence in court, which terrified the girl and led to panic attacks.
Judge Patricia Ryan said the abuse was planned and premeditated. She noted the age difference between the victims and the man, but also took into account his lack of previous convictions and his guilty plea.
She imposed a five-year sentence with the final two years suspended. She also ordered that he be registered as a sex offender and undergo 18 months’ probation supervision on his release.
A local sergeant told Carl Hanahoe, prosecuting, that the man made contact with the 14-year-old on Facebook and they arranged to meet up. They kissed and she later performed oral sex on him.
Further sexual contact occurred during a second meeting. The girl then deleted her Facebook account and was forbidden by her mother to set up a new one. However, the girl set up a new account in secret and resumed contact with the man.
During one online conversation, he asked her if she could bring someone to “have a threesome with”. The girl said she did not think any of her friends would agree to this.
The man suggested she bring her 12-year-old sister. The girl refused, saying she “really didn’t want to” and that her sister “still thinks boys have cooties”. The man pressed the issue and suggested they “could train her”, but the girl refused.
The man and the girl met up a third time, when there was further sexual contact.
A complaint was later made to gardaí.
Derek Kinneally, defending,
said his client had led a “sheltered and somewhat restricted life”, particularly regarding the opposite sex. He said his client suffered from anxiety and depression, and could not work because he could not cope with the embarrassment and shame of what he did.
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