A music teacher who sexually assaulted three girls while playing “chase and tickle” during the summer holidays of 1996 was given a two-year jail sentence yesterday, but the judge said it should be suspended in its entirety.
One of the victims burst into tears when the sentence was passed.
Greg Crosbie, 45, of Owenahincha, Roscarbery, Co Cork, will have his name put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Judge Petria McDonnell said: “A custodial sentence would send a message that this behaviour is inappropriate and should not happen. I also have to take into consideration the mitigating factors. Weighing up all the factors, I will impose two years and suspend the entirety of the two years. He will go on the Sex Offenders’ Register. He will not be able to obtain another job in his chosen profession.”
One victim said yesterday that she was still attending counselling and had to take medication in order to help her through last week’s trial. She said her behaviour altered dramatically after the sex assault at the age of 10.
“I felt what Greg Crosbie did to me ruined my early life and took my innocence away from me,” she said from the witness box.
A second injured party said she had constant nightmares, developed bulimia and ended up being referred to a psychiatrist.
“Because of what happened to me I found it hard to get close to my father. This case is going on for 17 years. I now hope it is finalised.”
Det Sgt David Treacy said the gardaí and the parents of victims were first notified by Crosbie’s ex-wife about the defendant’s behaviour.
He said Crosbie was working as a secondary school teacher when interviewed by gardaí in 1996. Crosbie then went to America. Defence senior counsel Tom Creed said the accused had no previous convictions of any kind and successfully underwent Garda vetting before resuming his profession as a teacher.
During his trial, Crosbie said, “There is no truth to any of these allegations, none, it is totally not true, no truth to it whatsoever, none.”
Judge McDonnell said the jury had vindicated the complainants by finding Crosbie guilty. The three women gave evidence of being sexually assaulted by the accused at his home in Cork City when they were aged 10 and 11 during the summer of 1996.
Asked about the first complainant’s evidence that he touched her vagina he said, “I was playing with her, playing chase and tickle. I asked them specifically if they wanted to play chase and tickle. We ran in and out. I can only say I tickled them under the arms and on their sides. There was no inappropriate touching.”
Asked about pulling off another complainant’s skirt during a chase he said it was absurd, that it never happened.
Asked about putting his hand between the legs of the third complainant and touching her vagina he denied it and said: “There is a lot of reference to chasing and tickling in their testimony, but there was only one game of chasing and tickling.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved