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Alleged assault Man is accused of groping woman's breast as she walked past in Dublin city centre

The offence is said to have happened on a street in the north city centre last June 5.

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Nicolae Cristea has not yet entered a plea to the charge

Nicolae Cristea has not yet entered a plea to the charge

Nicolae Cristea has not yet entered a plea to the charge

A MAN has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman as she walked past him in Dublin city centre.

Nicolae Cristea (29) is alleged to have leaned over and squeezed the woman’s breast as they passed each other on the pavement in an incident last summer.

The case against him was adjourned when he appeared before Dublin District Court.

Mr Cristea, with an address at Mountjoy Square in central Dublin, is charged with sexual assault.

The offence is said to have happened on a street in the north city centre last June 5.

A garda sergeant told Judge Bryan Smyth that the Director of Public Prosecutions was consenting to the case being dealt with summarily at district court level, subject to the judge considering the issue of jurisdiction.

The court heard it would be alleged that the woman was passing the accused when he leaned over toward her and “squeezed her right breast with his hand”.

The judge accepted jurisdiction in the district court instead of sending it forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher potential sentencing powers on conviction.

Judge Smyth said the accused also has a right of election, meaning he could still choose to be tried by a judge and jury in the circuit court.

Defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony sought an adjournment to take instructions from the accused, who has not yet entered a plea to the charge.

The judge ordered prosecution statements to be furnished to the defence and the court heard there was no CCTV evidence.

Free legal aid was granted after Mr O’Mahony made an application on behalf of his client and said Mr Cristea was out of work and in receipt of the Covid-19 payment.

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The accused was not required to address the court during the brief hearing and was remanded on continuing bail to a date next month.

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