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Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Irish celebrity found not guilty of engaging in sexual acts with 16-year-old girl over a decade ago

After deliberating for over five and a half hours, the jury returned majority verdicts of not guilty on all counts today.

AN IRISH CELEBRITY accused of engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old girl over a decade ago has been acquitted following a trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The man (40), who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 17 at locations in Dublin on dates between August and December 2010. He was aged 27 at the time.

After deliberating for just under six hours, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty on all counts today after an eight-day trial.

The man, dressed in a blue tartan suit, appeared anxious, taking deep breaths as the jury entered the courtroom.

He stood for the verdicts and appeared overwhelmed by emotion as the registrar asked the jury foreperson if they had reached a verdict on which 10 of them were agreed.

As she read out the verdicts and said ‘not guilty’ after each count, the man’s parents, who were also in court, muttered ‘thank God’.

After the court sitting finished, the man looked relieved as his solicitor spoke to him briefly. Outside the courtroom, he was embraced by his parents.

The complainant was not present when the verdicts were returned by the jury.

Judge Pauline Codd thanked the jurors for the time and attention they had given the case. She noted these types of cases can be “particularly difficult” due to their “historic nature”.

Earlier today, the jury gave a note to Judge Codd after more than five hours of deliberations, indicating that they could not reach a unanimous decision.

The judge told jurors the court would accept a majority verdict on which at least 10 of them were agreed, then invited them to continue their deliberations.

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