Teenage babysitter sexually abused 7-year-old stepsister

A Limerick teenager who sexually abused his younger stepsister while babysitting her has been sentenced to eight years in prison with the final three years suspended.

The 19-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the girl’s identity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of oral rape and five counts of sexual assault on dates between February 2011 and January 2012 at locations in Limerick and Clare.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said the sentence is in line with “the distressing details of the case” along with the breach of trust, the inherent gravity of the offences, and the age of the victim.

He ordered that the teenager have no contact with the victim and directed he undertake 18-month post-release supervision. He also placed the teenager on the sex offenders register.

The accused was 16 and the girl was 7 when the abuse occurred while he was minding her. He has no previous convictions.

A garda told Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, that the teenager would mind his stepsister for a time in the afternoons. His father noticed in the latter part of 2011 that his son was becoming withdrawn and the girl’s mother noticed she was becoming clingy.

The accused was away from the family home for a time after Christmas. The teenager sent his father a text message saying he had been abusing the girl. The man was shocked and told the girl’s mother.

They contacted the local GP and HSE. The teenager told his GP he had done some things that he should not have and that it had been going on for a year. He denied digital penetration but admitted putting his penis into her mouth.

He said he had been angry with his father for putting him in the position of minding his stepsister.

The accused was 17 when he was arrested and interviewed. He admitted abusing the girl and said he had moved out because he wanted to stop abusing her.

The garda agreed with Andrew Sexton, defending, that the accused had attended psychiatric services on a number of occasions and did everything asked of him.

Mr Sexton said reports handed into court outlined that the accused felt immense shame and was taking full responsibly for his actions. He said he had expressed remorse.

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