Man pleads guilty to sexual acts with underage girl

Teenagers who met via the internet site Tagged ended up going out together for three months and having sex. Two years later the girl made a complaint against the man to gardaí.

Man pleads guilty to sexual acts with underage girl

He was in court yesterday charged with engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 17.

The girl was 16 years and 10 months old at the time, two months short of the legal age to have consensual sex. The man was 19 at the time.

The case was in Cork District Court for the accused to indicate if he was pleading guilty or not guilty. The DPP had indicated that unless there was a guilty plea it would be a matter for trial by judge and jury. The accused pleaded guilty to both charges yesterday.

The teenagers met each other via the social media site and went to the cinema together on their first date.

Inspector Mary King said the two people were in a relationship with each other for three months and engaged in sexual acts on two occasions in the girl’s family home.

In the charges brought against the defendant it was stated that in May 2012 he engaged in a sexual act with a child under 17, and secondly, in June 2012, he engaged in sexual intercourse with her.

“She says she reluctantly engaged with the sexual acts with the defendant. He was 19 years and seven months, she was 16 years and 10 months,” Insp King said.

“It bothered her for a long time and she thought about it for a long time afterwards. She made the complaint two years later.”

Emmet Boyle, solicitor for the defendant, said, “The defendant and the injured party met through social media innocently enough. At first it was a meeting at the cinema. He was welcomed to her home. The first act of sexuality between she and he took place after about three months.

“There was a mutuality of meeting, messaging and communicating generally. She never attended at his home. There was meeting by design as opposed to cunning or anything of that nature. The first contact was at the home of the injured party as opposed to at his home. Her mother was upstairs.

“And there was a lack of disparity of age. He would have been 19, the injured party would have been two or three months off her 17th birthday. He gave a 21-page memo of interview to gardaí and answered every question and made inculpatory statements. He accepts he was reckless as regards her age.”

Judge Con O’Leary adjourned sentencing until July 17 to allow time for the preparation of a victim impact statement or the appearance of the young woman in court, or both.

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