Dance floor groper who put his hand up a woman’s dress spared criminal record

Judge Maire Conneely gave him the benefit of the Probation Act after hearing he had an “unblemished past” and was normally respectful to women.

Rodolpho Aguilar

Rodolpho Aguilar

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A man who put his hand up a woman’s dress and groped her on the dance floor has been spared jail or a criminal record.

Rodolpho Aguilar (29) was unknown to the woman when he sexually assaulted her from behind as she danced in a busy Dublin club.

Judge Maire Conneely gave him the benefit of the Probation Act, leaving him without a recorded conviction after hearing testimonials that he had an “unblemished past” and was normally respectful to women.

Aguilar, of Belmont Hall, Gardiner Street Middle, Dublin pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at a nightclub on Wexford Street on a date in October 2018.

The victim was out socialising with her then-boyfriend and a group of friends on the night.

She was on the dance floor when the accused came from behind and groped her genital area by placing his hand up her dress.

There was no penetration, the court heard. The accused had no previous convictions.

In her garda statement, the woman had said: “I felt a hand from behind, the hand did not go under my knickers.”

“It felt like it went on for ages, but I know it didn’t, it was only like a second and a half,” she said.

Defence solicitor Mark O’Sullivan said it was a “quite measured” statement by the victim.

Rodolpho Aguilar

The accused had a lot of alcohol taken on the night and was so intoxicated he had no recollection of the incident.

He was “totally forthcoming” with the gardaí, accepted his actions and expressed remorse.

He told them: “I don’t remember but if this happened, I want to say in advance, I’m sorry and I’m ashamed of myself.”

CCTV did not capture the incident itself and nobody in the busy nightclub witnessed it.

Letters from female colleagues and friends of Aguilar were presented to the court that “spoke to his integrity” and that he was ordinarily respectful and a “decent human being”, Mr O'Sullivan said.

They were all surprised at the charge he had pleaded guilty to.

The victim had not wanted to make an impact statement and was happy to accept the €3,000 the accused was offering as a token of his remorse.

Aguilar came to Ireland for Brazil six years ago and was a “hard working man” with an “unblemished past”, Mr O'Sullivan said.

The accused had made a “particularly bad mistake” but he had not come to garda attention since, he added.

“It’s a serious offence and not one that can be treated lightly by the court,” Judge Conneely said.

She took account of the letters “speaking very highly” of the accused and the fact that the victim was willing to accept compensation.

Applying the Probation Act, she said it was not the type of case that she would always deal within that manner.

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