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Man who sexually assaulted nine women given four-and-a-half year sentence

Judge Orla Crowe said the assaults were a “gross intrusions of the bodily integrity and dignity” of each woman.

A MAN WHO sexually assaulted nine different women in Dublin city during the month of August 2021 has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended.

Kevin Kletzander, of no fixed abode, grabbed women’s crotches, hit a woman in the crotch with his fist and slapped a female garda on the buttocks during the various assaults, which took place in daylight in well-populated areas of the city centre.

The sentence was backdated to August 2021, meaning that Kletzander faces a maximum of 18 months’ imprisonment. He has been in custody since August 2021.

In her judgement at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Orla Crowe said the assaults were a “gross intrusions of the bodily integrity and dignity” of each woman.

Judge Crowe said it was “humiliating, demeaning and shocking” for the victims to have been violated in such an aggressive way when they were going about their day-to-day business during daylight hours in the city centre.

The judge noted that Kletzander suffered from considerable mental health difficulties and that the sentence had to be balanced with his need for rehabilitation and help.

Judge Crowe said Kletzander was fortunate to have loving parents who have stood by him.

The judge said victim impact statements submitted by some of the women show how deeply they were impacted and continue be affected by the assaults. The court heard that one woman could not socialise after the assault and remained deeply nervous and hyper aware of her surroundings.

At a previous hearing, the court heard Kletzander told gardaí he was “looking for love” when they arrived at the Ilac Shopping Centre to arrest him following the final incidents on 28 August 2021.

Kletzander (32) pleaded guilty to nine counts of sexual assault on 5, 12, 27 and 28 August 2021 at various locations in Dublin city, including the Ilac Shopping Centre, Aston Quay, Usher Island, Grafton Street and Store Street Garda Station. He has no previous convictions.

Detective Garda Mark Costello told Grainne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, that the first victim was on Grafton Street on 5 August 2021, at appropriately 8.40 am when she saw an odd man walking towards her. She noticed him and feared he wanted to steal her handbag. Instead, he put his arm under her skirt and grabbed her crotch area.

The woman screamed and Kletzander let go before walking off in another direction. She later saw him lying on the grass in St Stephen’s Green and made a report to gardaí.

On 12 August 2021, Kletzander sexually assaulted three women by grabbing their crotch areas in separate incidents at Stephen’s Green, Aston Quay and Usher’s Island. In a fourth incident on the same day, he ran at a woman who had gotten off a bus in the Usher’s Island area and hit her in the crotch area with his fist.

Separately, a 32-year-old woman was in the Ilac Shopping Centre on the afternoon of 27 August 2021. She was watching her son play when she was grabbed on the buttocks from behind and pushed forward.

An investigating garda said Kletzander then walked several steps in front of this woman before turning back towards her. She used a buggy as a shield as she was concerned he was going to attack her again.

The woman screamed and Kletzander walked away. She was left in pain and shock following the incident.

The next day, another woman was walking into the Ilac Shopping Centre at 8.15 am when Kletzander, who was walking in the opposite direction, asked her for a “blowjob”. She was shocked and froze. Kletzander then grabbed the back of her neck and pushed her head towards his crotch area. She screamed, and he backed off.

A short time later, in the same area, Kletzander was sitting at the entrance to the shopping centre and shouted at a woman on a bike that he could “see her vagina”. She got off her bike, and he grabbed at her, putting his hand up her skirt, touching her crotch and stomach area.

The woman was very shocked and scared during the assault. A passer-by shouted at Kletzander and scared him off.

Kletzander was arrested shortly afterwards in the Ilac Centre before he sexually assaulted the female garda at Store Street Garda Station by slapping her once on the buttocks.

A compilation of CCTV was played to the court.

One victim impact statement was handed in but not read aloud.

When interviewed, Kletzander admitted being at St Stephen’s Green but made no comment in relation to the other incidents. Detective Garda Costello agreed with O’Neill that Kletzander accepted what he had done, but the tenor of the conversation was that he didn’t feel he had done anything wrong.

The investigating gardaí agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that the injured parties were relieved by Kletzander’s guilty pleas. The court heard that Kletzander had no inhibitions and carried out these actions in front of hundreds of people.

Kletzander has been in custody since August 2021 and has been living in hostel accommodation in recent years.

Rea told the court his client has serious mental health issues, which have required periods of hospitalisation. Psychiatric and probation reports were handed to the court.

The court heard the psychiatric report states that Kletzander was feeling rejected by women and receiving messages in his mind, but agreed his behaviour was not appropriate or acceptable.

Kletzander was formerly a student at Trinity College but was unable to complete his studies due to his mental health issues. He is on a new medication regime and appears to be doing better.

Kletzander had “started life and studies with such hopes, but they were to be dashed due to behavioural problems.” Rea said.

The defendant’s older brother died last August, and his parents were in court to support him. The prison service has made arrangements for hostel accommodation in Dublin for Kletzander when he is eventually released. A letter from Focus Ireland was also handed to the court.

Linda Kletzander, mother of the accused, took to the stand and described the last few years since these incidents as a “nightmare”.

Mrs Kletzander said that before these incidents, her son was a “perfectly intelligent brother and son” and that they are prepared to pay to get him privately assessed by a psychologist.

She told the court that herself and her husband are not yet in a position to offer accommodation to their son on his release.

Judge Crowe ordered Kletzander to be of good behaviour for four and a half years and to abide by all directions of the Probation Service, particularly in regard to his own mental health treatment and his eventual rehousing and resettlement.

Eimear Dodd and Jessica Magee