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Prominent entertainer accused of sexual assault cannot be named, judge rules

The entertainer was charged with sexual assault at a venue in Dublin in December 2016.

Image: Graham Hughes/RollingNews.ie

A PROMINENT ENTERTAINER has appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting a man at a venue in Dublin.

The accused, who is in his mid-twenties, cannot be named for legal reasons.

He was granted anonymity by Judge John O’Leary following an application by the defence. He was ordered to appear again at Dublin District Court on 9 October next.

The courtroom was cleared and the case was heard in camera but his family members were allowed stay for the brief hearing.

The entertainer, dressed in navy suit, white shirt and light blue tie, was charged with sexual assault at a venue in Dublin on a date in December 2016.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was furnished to the court in a certificate.

Garda Shane Behan told Judge O’Leary that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed “summary disposal on a guilty plea”. A summary disposal case means it should stay at the district court level.

However, if the allegation is denied it is to be sent forward to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for trial before a judge and jury. The accused has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Disclosure of prosecution evidence was furnished to the defence this morning.

No facts of the case were heard.

The accused sat at the side of the courtroom and remained silent throughout the hearing.

He remains on Garda station bail and his solicitor said there was consent to an adjournment.

Judge O’Leary asked if there was any other application.

The garda said the alleged injured party in this case was entitled to anonymity and he asked for publishing restrictions.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines sought similar restrictions, that nothing should be published that would identify the complainant. He also asked for an order that the accused’s name or address and the location of the alleged offence would not be published.

A media representative said it was understood that a complainant in a sexual assault case could not be identified but asked for the basis in law for extending anonymity to the accused.

In reply, Judge O’Leary said he was making the order that neither the accused nor the alleged injured party could be identified, and he said that was provided for under Sexual Offences Act.

A State solicitor told the court it was also provided for under the Criminal Law Rape Act, and the garda was of the view it was necessary.

Garda Behan told the court, “particularly the locus of the offence”.

Banning the press from identifying the accused, Judge O’Leary said the garda was of the view those details could potentially identify the injured party.

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Tom Tuite

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