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Man claims he didn't know that threat to share pictures of girl (12) performing sex act was a crime

The man, who can’t be named, was 16 at the time of the offence.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A 20-YEAR-OLD 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 perform oral sex on another boy has said he didn’t know he was committing a crime.

The defendant 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 August and 25 August, 2015.

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 dirty as a result of the act.

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.

Not aware of illegality

During a hearing today, the defendant’s lawyer told Mr Justice Micheal White that his client believed the victim was 14 at the time and didn’t realise that what he was doing was illegal.

Seamus Clarke SC 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 that he wished to apologise to the victim and said that he and the other boy were “teenagers with little sense” at the time.

The judge adjourned sentence until 17 October.

Younger boy sentenced

Last August, the younger boy was sentenced and ordered to complete 180 hours of community service.

His lawyers told the judge that he was in fear of the older boy, while the victim told gardaí that 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 which was stage managed by the older boy.

Lacey said that 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.

Comments have been closed as sentencing has yet to take place.

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Declan Brennan

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