The count heard the boy, who was four years old at the time, was asleep in bed with his mother following a party when she awoke to find Diego Andrade (24) with his hand on her son's genitalia.
Gardai were able to identify Andrade using a photograph of the defendant taken by the child’s mother. Andrade was not known to the woman and her son prior to the day of the party.
Andrade was on bail after being convicted of a separate sexual assault offence on an adult when the incident at the party occurred. He is now serving a nine month sentence for that offence imposed in the District Court earlier this year and his new sentence will be consecutive to that.
Andrade, with no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting a child at a residential address in Dublin on 31 October, 2020.
Andrade, a Bolivian national who first came to Ireland on a student visa in December 2018, has 19 previous convictions. The offences include sexual assault, theft, possession of stolen property and public order infringements.
Judge Melanie Greally noted the young boy had particular vulnerabilities and the victim impact report details he now suffers from extreme anxiety and his sleep has been affected. She noted he is in receipt of psychological support. She said his mother indicates the family has suffered hugely.
Judge Greally noted the accused had made certain admissions that were of assistance to the prosecution but said it was “particularly repellent feature of the case” that he tried to implicate the mother in the offence.
She noted that when his phone was examined it was found to contain a video of two children involved in sexual intercourse and he accepted had forwarded the material to two parties.
She said further aggravating factors included his previous conviction for sexual assault on an adult female and that this offence was committed while on bail for that offence.
She noted he had a difficult start in Bolivia and an unsettled adolescence. She said he had a limited educational record and some history of employment. She noted his history of drug abuse which she said featured in his offending behaviour.
Judge Greally said a psychological report before the court references episodes of poor mental health and that he appears to acknowledge he would benefit from psychological help in terms of childhood experiences.
She noted aggravating features including the age of the child, that he was asleep in place he would expect to feel safe and the impact on the victim and his family.
She took into account Andrade’s personal circumstances, that he was someone who had limited opportunities in life, was still a young man who had engaged well with psychiatric assessment and would be serving his sentence in a foreign country.
Judge Greally imposed a three year sentence and suspended the final 6 months on conditions including that he leave the country within 14 days of release. She said that pending his departure he should place himself under the supervision of the Probation Service.
She further ordered that he refrain from any unsupervised access with children and that he does not return to the state for 20 years from the date of his departure.
Judge Greally said the sentence should run consecutive to his current sentence