Exposed | 

Face of award-winning photographer who raped his youngest sister revealed

Paul Mohan also pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of his sister

Pictured: Paul Mohan

Fiona Ferguson and Robin Schiller

An international award-winning Irish sports photographer who raped and sexually assaulted his youngest sister will be sentenced next week.

Paul Mohan (42) was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to ten counts of rape between 1996 and 2001.

Mohan, of Grangegeeth in Collon, Co Meath, and with a previous address in Drogheda, Co Louth, also pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of his sister.

She estimated that she was abused hundreds of times by her brother between 1990 up until the final incident in 2004.

Mohan, who the Central Criminal Court on Monday heard had no previous convictions and is at a moderate risk of reoffending, will be sentenced on March 1.

He is an award-winning photographer who previously worked for Ireland’s leading sports photography agency Sportsfile.

Mohan joined the agency in 2007 and has worked at an array of major sporting events including All-Ireland GAA finals, rugby internationals, and Ireland’s campaign at the 2016 European Championships.

He also won the sports action photograph of the year at the 2009 World Press photo awards.

He left Sportsfile in October 2016 to pursue a career in videography.

His sister waived her anonymity to allow her brother to be named and told the court that she had had believed the abuse was normal as a child but as she became older realised it was wrong.

She described how her mental health suffered and she had lost much of her childhood. She said she felt damaged, dirty and worthless and struggled to tell her husband what had happened.

She described the distress of keeping the secret from her family and said telling her parents was the hardest thing she ever had to do. She said her family have been supportive and she can finally talk about what happened, now taking one day at a time and no longer carrying the pain, fear, sadness and shame that had weighed her down for the best part of 30 years.

The investigating garda told Philip Rahn SC, prosecuting, that the abuse began in 1990 with him touching her bum before progressing to him getting her to rub his penis on the outside of his clothes. She was about six at this time and her brother was six years older than her.

She said she was sexually assaulted a couple of times a week and kept a journal where she marked days where things happened. She estimated that she was abused 100’s of times.

The court heard the rapes occurred when she was aged approximately between 11 and 15 years old and the accused man was aged between 16 and 22 years old. A final incident of sexual assault occurred in 2004 when they were adults.

She made a statement of complaint to the gardaí in 2019. When gardaí made contact with Mohan he said that he had always known that he would be contacted by the gardaí. He made some admissions in relation to the sexual assaults but did not think there had been sexual intercourse.

However, he said if his sister said it happened, he would believe her and told gardaí he was sorry.

The garda agreed with Bernard Condon SC, defending, that Mohan co-operated with the investigation, expressed sorrow and appeared to be remorseful.

Mr Condon read from a letter from Mohan apologising for the harm he had done and hoping his sister can move on. He acknowledged he had taken advantage of his sister when he should have been looking after her. He also apologised to his family.

He said the court had to take into account this had commenced when Mohan was 12 years old and may have had difficulty understanding right from wrong but now he was before the court as an adult.

He said it was unusual that he had taken a wrong turn so early in life but the court had the difficult task of assessing his level of maturity as he developed from a young child to an adult.

Counsel said that as a result of the disclosures, Mohan’s employment has ended and he has become socially isolated. He said Mohan described himself as a functioning alcoholic but has and continues to work on himself. He said he was of previous good character.

Mr Condon said Mohan was prepared to undergo supervision and take part in the Safer Lives program. He was prepared to address his moderate risk of reoffending.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott remanded Mohan in custody and adjourned sentencing to March 1 next.

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