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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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Man found guilty on 92 counts of sexually assaulting and raping his stepdaughter

He was taken into custody and will be sentenced on 15 May.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A CORK MAN accused of repeatedly raping his stepdaughter over a seven-year period has been found guilty of all 92 counts against him.

The 40-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went on trial in the Central Criminal Court accused of sexually abusing the girl between May 2008 and November 2015, when she was aged between nine and 16 years old.

He had pleaded not guilty to 26 counts of sexual assault, two counts of attempted rape and 64 counts of raping the girl. Almost all of the offences took place in the family home in Cork.

The jury of seven men and five women took just under four hours to return the guilty verdicts. The man was taken into custody and will be sentenced on 15 May.

The three-week trial heard that the girl’s mother met the man when she was around six years old, and the abuse started when she was aged around eight or nine.

Abuse

The victim, who turned 18 during the trial, gave extensive evidence over a number of days via video link. The court heard she felt the man was “like a dad” to her. She described how the abuse started with her stepfather tickling her and then putting his hands down her pants.

It progressed to the man regularly forcing his stepdaughter to masturbate him, often when they were in his bedroom watching television. The girl told the court that this usually happened when she needed money for the cinema or to go swimming.

Her mother was out with her younger siblings or at bingo when the abuse occurred, the court heard.

Holiday

During a family holiday, the court heard the man forced the girl onto a hotel bed and tried to rape her. About a month later, she said he raped her when they were in his bedroom watching television.

She said he raped her up to three times a week from then on, mostly in the bedroom he shared with her mother. He ejaculated on her stomach and would reward her afterwards with money or by releasing her from being grounded.

At one point the victim confided in her mother about the abuse after they watched a scene from Eastenders together in which a stepfather was abusing his stepdaughter. But she backtracked shortly afterwards and said she was only joking.

The abuse ended in November 2015 when the girl packed a bag and went to her aunt’s house. She then confided in her mother and they went to gardaí the next day. Semen swabs taken from the girl’s stomach tested positive for her stepfather’s DNA.

There was a less than one in 1,000 million chance of the DNA profile being unrelated to the accused, prosecuting counsel, Marjorie Farrelly SC, told the jury.

Defence barrister, Sean Guerin SC, told the jury the girl’s credibility was a “great source of concern”. He submitted that the semen found on the girls tummy could have come from when she was lying in her parents bed the morning after they had sex.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy thanked the jury for their service.

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