Second teen charged with sexual assault of young girl in Dublin city-centre alleyway

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Parliament Row, where the incident is alleged to have occured (Image via Google Maps)
Parliament Row, where the incident is alleged to have occured (Image via Google Maps)

A SECOND teenage boy has been charged with sexually assaulting and exploiting a young girl in an alley-way in Dublin's Temple Bar.

The boy (17) was arrested in Dublin on Wednesday and taken to Pearse Garda station in the city centre to be charged under section two of Criminal Law Rape Act with sexual assault of the girl and also with sexually exploiting her contrary to Section Three of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at Parliament Row, an alley in Dublin's Temple Bar on April 11 last year. The boy was aged 16 at the time of the alleged incident, while it is understood the girl was in her early teens.

He was granted bail with strict conditions and will face his next hearing at Dublin Children's Court in June.

Garda Niall Murray gave details of the arrest. He told Judge John O'Connor that when the boy was charged with the offences he made no reply. He had no objection to bail provided the teenager obeyed a number of conditions.

The teenager was told he must continue to reside at his current address and gardai must be notified of any change, obey a 10pm to 7am curfew and not have any contact, directly or indirectly, with the complainant or her family.

Judge O'Connor explained that this included use of social media or a phone or getting a third party to get in contact with her.

The judge acceded to a request from the garda to bar the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, from the D1, D2 and D4 areas of the city.

"Why am I being barred from D1, D2 and D4, I hang around there," the boy said, at which he was told he faces very serious charges. "I know," the boy replied.

Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said the teen's mother instructed him that the girl had been trying to make contact with her son. Gda Murray said the girl has been warned not to have any contact with him.

Judge O'Connor warned the boy that he would remanded in custody pending trial if he broke the bail terms.

Gda Murray said the DPP has recommended that the boy should face trial on indictment; this means the case should go to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. However, a final decision has yet to be made on the trial venue issue.

On Tuesday, a 16-year-old boy was also charged with the same offences and was remanded on bail with similar conditions.

He was also required to hand over his passport after the court learned he told Gda Murray after his arrest: "I will not be in Dublin much longer, I'm going to get out of here and am never coming back, I don't care about that court case."

His solicitor said that was done out of bravado. That boy, who was aged 15 at the time of the alleged incident, was arrested at his home on Tuesday morning and after he was charged he replied: "I never touched that young one."

Free legal aid has been granted to both boys and the judge has directed disclosure of prosecution evidence to the defence lawyers ahead of the next hearing which will decide the boys trial venue.

Despite the DPP's recommendation the juvenile court has discretion to accept jurisdiction for a serious case by taking into consideration the defendant's age and level of maturity as well as other relevant factors.