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Teens to face Circuit Court over sex assault charges

Teens to face Circuit Court over sex assault charges

TWO teenage boys will face Circuit Court trial accused of sexually assaulting and exploiting a young girl in an alley-way in Dublin's Temple Bar.

The boys, aged 17 and 16, have been charged under section two of Criminal Law Rape Act with sexual assault of the girl and sexually exploiting her.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at Parliament Row, an alley in Dublin's Temple Bar, on a night in April last year. They faced a preliminary hearing at Dublin Children's Court on Wednesday for a ruling on their trial venue.

The DPP recommended that the pair should be tried before a judge and jury in the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

After hearing an outline of the evidence Judge John O'Connor agreed with the DPP's view and he refused jurisdiction.

The boys, who cannot be named because they are minors, were remanded on conditional bail to appear again next month to be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.

Garda Niall Murray said it would be alleged then 14-year-old girl had been in the area with friends who went off to a shop. The boys, then aged 16 and 15, allegedly told her they would bring her to the same shop using a short-cut.

The court heard she was “fairly drunk” and consensually kissed the older boy when they got to the lane.

The girl had allegedly protested at going into the lane at first. It was alleged the boy pulled down her trousers but she said “no” and he allegedly replied “come on, come on”.

It was alleged the youth pushed down her jeans and underwear and she said "no" on a number of occasions but “he would not take no for an answer”. She was terrified and felt his penis touch her vagina but he was unable to penetrate her, the court was told.

The court heard that it would be alleged the second teenager then arrived at the scene.

He had spent some of the time away from the pair and was shown on CCTV in the lane, sometimes hiding behind bins when a car or a passers-by were near. The older boy and the girl were down the lane for 17 minutes and during 11 of them the second boy was also present, the court was told.

Gda Murray said the girl's phone was taken from her and she was allegedly told she would have to do something of a sexual nature to get it back. In CCTV footage she appeared to be dragged back out of the camera's view.

The court heard it would be alleged that at this point both boys exposed themselves and placed her hands on their penises. She did not want this and stopped but later kissed the older boy, the court heard. Afterwards she noticed he had ejaculated on her jacket.

CCTV showed them emerging from the alley and the State argued that she appeared to be arguing with the two youths.

The prosecution also contended that there was an element of coercion involved and the taking of her phone made it more serious. Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the court to note that there was consensual kissing between the girl and the older boy and the second teen had not been present all the time.

He also asked the judge to take into consideration the young ages of the two defendants, however, Judge O'Connor held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court.

The boys, who were accompanied to court by their mothers, have not yet indicated how they will plead.

As a condition of bail they must continue to reside at their current addresses and obey a curfew, not have any contact with the complainant or her family and stay out of Dublin city-centre.