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Man who was 16 when he sexually assaulted 12-year-old girl jailed for 4 years

The defendant had forced the child to perform oral sex on him while other youths recorded the act on their phones.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

A MAN WHO was 16 when he told a 12-year-old girl he would send around photos of her in a sexual act if she didn’t “give a blowjob” to another boy has been jailed for four years.

The defendant, now aged 20, had previously forced the child to perform oral sex on him while other youths recorded the act on their mobile phones.

The man pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child at a place in Dublin on 21 and 25 August 2015.

Passing sentence today, Justice Michael White said he was struck by the “cruelty” of the offences and their circumstances. He said he was concerned by the man minimising the offences while engaging with the Probation Service.

Justice White said the case was aggravated by the seriousness of the offence, the victim being 12 years old at the time and the impact the offences have had on her. He said in absence of mitigation he would have considered a sentence of eight years imprisonment.

He said the mitigating factors in the case were the man’s early guilty plea, his lack of previous convictions at the time of the offences and the fact that he was still a minor when he committed the offences.

Justice White sentenced the man to four years imprisonment. He also ordered that the man would be subject to two years post release supervision during which he would follow all directions of the Probation Service.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard evidence that the defendant knew the girl and they were chatting on Facebook. They met up in a public park and he brought the girl over to a ditch and made her kneel down on the ground.

He manipulated her head and made her perform oral sex on him. She later told gardaí that she felt really dirty.

The court heard that a “group of young fellas” were standing nearby and took pictures of the incident and showed her these. The victim was able to see her face and the sexual act and she felt horrible and worried “she would get a name”.

She met the defendant again four days later and he again forced her to perform oral sex on him before telling her that she had to “give a blowjob” to a younger boy or else he would show the pictures of the earlier incident to others.

His lawyers told Justice White that his client believed the victim was 14 at the time and didn’t realise what he was doing was illegal.

Seamus Clarke SC, defending, said that the victim appeared to have wanted to “go out” with his client and that he was “less than gentlemanly” in his response to her.

In a letter to the court the defendant said he wished to apologise to the victim and said he and the other boy were “teenagers with little sense” at the time.

The court heard that since the attacks the victim has had suicidal thoughts and has self harmed.

Last August, the younger boy was sentenced and ordered to complete 180 hours of community service. His lawyers told Justice White that he was in fear of the older boy, while the victim told gardaí she felt she had to do it.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending told the court that the older boy had asked her client “are you going to be gay?”, meaning “was he afraid?”. Her client believed there would be adverse postings about him on social media, she said.

She said the incident was a once off act stage managed by the older boy.

Lacey said a Probation Service report noted that he had little understanding of the concept of consent, and didn’t realise the victim and he himself were both too young to consent.

She said he bitterly regretted his actions and was offering an unreserved apology to the victim.

Neither of the defendants can be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.

Additional evidence

The victim told the court that before these incidents she was flourishing with confidence and had lots of hopes and dreams.

“After they abused me, it totally changed me. They took away my independence,” she said, adding that fear has taken her over now.

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She quit doing a lot of sporting and social activities which she had enjoyed because of a fear of seeing the boys and said she was threatened by members of their family.

She has had suicidal thoughts and has self harmed. 

She said she was in such fear of bullying that she started to carry a knife with her when going out.

She said she is hoping to get on with her life and is looking forward to doing her Leaving Cert exam.

Detective Garda David Jennings told Anne Marie Lawlor SC, prosecuting, that the victim had been in contact with the older boy on Facebook and they agreed to meet.

He said they met in a field where the boy was with other boys. The court heard she was dragged and pushed over to the edge of the field.

She told gardaí she had a gut feeling that something bad would happen but ignored her gut feeling.

The boy put his hands over her and on her legs and she felt uncomfortable. He made her kneel down and was manipulating her head and making her suck his penis.

She said this continued for some time and she felt really dirty. She said some of the other boys were taking photographs and they showed her some of them.

The younger accused was in this group but did not take any photos.

The victim said you could see her face and this showed her “giving a blowjob”, the court heard. She felt horrible that others would see the image and she would get a name for herself.

About the author:

Declan Brennan

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