Man accused of sex abuse launches legal challenge against Tusla findings

The incident allegedly took place when the two boys worked in a hotel together in 1969/70
Man accused of sex abuse launches legal challenge against Tusla findings
The case is being heard in the High Court

A man accused of sex abuse on a child while they were both working at a hotel summer job 50 years ago has brought a High Court challenge to findings against him by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (CFA).

The man, who it is claimed was around 17 at the time, allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the boy, who was around nine-years-old in 1969/70. His accuser says he "lured him into bed" on three occasions in staff quarters in the hotel and told him afterwards not to tell anyone.

The complaint was investigated by gardaí but the DPP decided not to prosecute.

The man strongly denies the claims and is seeking a permanent injunction over the findings of the CFA.

The CFA says its role is in assessing possible risk to other children and it has the lower "balance of probabilities" standard of proof for its investigations as against the criminal law's "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.

The CFA found what it called a "provisional conclusion" that the allegations were true and they became a full finding when it says the man declined to properly engage with it. The man took part in a CFA appeals procedure which he then brought judicial review proceedings over.

He argued there was, among other things, a failure to properly examine the allegations and that he had been denied fair procedures.

The court heard on Tuesday the CFA wants to complete a new appeal process but opposes the man's application for a permanent injunction.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons heard the complainant first made a complaint to the CFA in 2013 and a year later to gardaí which resulted in no prosecution. In 2018, the CFA made its provisional conclusion.

Among the complainant's claims are that as a result of the abuse he had a mental breakdown in his twenties and continued to have ongoing mental issues.

The accused denies the allegations and says they are motivated by malice associated with other day-to-day issues in the community they both live in.

The case continues.

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