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11-year-old girl who was allegedly abused by creche worker tells trial 'I wasn't making it up'

The girl made the comments during cross-examination today.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A GIRL WHO was allegedly sexually assaulted by a childcare worker in her creche has denied making it up, a trial has heard.

The girl, who is now aged 11, was today cross-examined by defence counsel in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of the 29-year-old man.

The man has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of sexually assaulting four girls between February 2015 and December 2016. They were aged between five and eight at the time.

The jury was played a video of the then eight-year-old girl being interviewed by a specialist garda in January 2017, a month after the allegations came to light. The girl was then cross-examined by defence counsel via videolink.

She is the first complainant to give evidence in the case.

In relation to her case, the man is charged with ten counts of sexually assaulting her by touching her vagina, touching her vagina area over her clothes and pressing a mobile phone against her vagina.

She was aged between seven and eight years old at the time of the alleged offences.

In the video, the little girl told the specialist garda that the man touched her “privates” in various locations within the creche, including in a book corner in the afterschool room, on the creche bus, in a toilet cubicle and on a windowsill in one room.

She said she didn’t like it and it “nearly always” hurt her. She said the man touched her with his hand and with his phone when it was buzzing. She said he would ask her if she liked it and she said no.

The girl said she was aware that her best friend and another girl were also being touched by the man. She said she knew this because they both told her.

She told the garda that she confided in her best friend that the man was touching her, but that she never told the third girl. All three girls are complainants in the case.

Under cross-examination from Sean Guerin SC, defending, the girl said she didn’t tell the third girl because she thought that girl would “go blabbering to someone else”.

“I thought I did something wrong,” the girl said. “If I was to tell someone, they probably would have thought I was lying.”

When counsel put it to the girl that she was afraid she might get into trouble for making things up, the girl replied: “No, I wasn’t making it up.”

The girl denied making jokes about the man to her best friend, in which she and the third girl told her best friend that the man had brought them to a toilet and told them to “lick his willy”, before telling her they were only joking.

“I didn’t like it at the time so I didn’t joke about it,” the girl said. She suggested the third girl might have made such a joke but said she had no memory of this happening.

The trial has heard the allegations first came to light when the girl told a staff member “third-hand information” about another girl saying she had “kissed (the man) on the privates and then laughed”.

The girl said she could not remember telling the staff member anything about the man. “I definitely do not remember that,” she said.

The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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Isabel Hayes

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