The Director of Public Prosecutions has completed the book of evidence for the trial of a 14-year-old Dublin schoolboy accused of raping a girl.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had initially appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court in February charged with sexual abuse offences, which allegedly occurred when he was aged 12 and 13 years.
The teen, who was accompanied to court by his parents and his solicitor, was then granted bail pending the preparation of a book of evidence.
Following a six-week adjournment the case was listed again at the Children’s Court but the teenager, like most defendants currently on bail, did not have to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens told Judge Treasa Kelly she notified the boy and his parents not to come.
There was a consent to a three-month adjournment and Judge Kelly remanded the boy on continuing bail in his absence to appear again on a date in July to be served with the book of evidence.
“They are very anxious to move the matter along and get into the Central [Criminal Court],” his solicitor said, adding that she understood the book of evidence was ready.
He was charged that between June 2018 and March last year he intentionally caused a child to look at images of himself or people engaged in sexual activity. This is contrary to section six of the Criminal Law (Sex Offences) Act.
He also faced six other counts of rape of the girl at his home and two other locations, one in Dublin and another outside the capital, on various dates between June 2018 and March 2019.
These charges were under section two of the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981 and section four of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990.
“The Director [of Public Prosecutions] directed this matter will be dealt with on indictment”, the court heard earlier.
This means the boy will face trial at the Central Criminal Court.
The Children’s Court does not have the discretion to consider retaining jurisdiction to hear a case involving rape charges. The solicitor said, however, there may be a jurisdiction issue over to the other charge.
The boy remains on bail subject to a condition stipulating no contact with the complainant or prosecution witnesses.