A Kildare teenager who sexually abused and raped his young cousin has been sentenced to one year in prison.
The accused, who cannot be named because he and the victim are both minors, were 13 at the time of the crime while his victim was seven.
The boy, now 17, was found guilty by a jury of orally raping his cousin after a trial earlier this year. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of sexually assaulting her on undisclosed dates between October 1 and December 31, 2018.
Last month, Judge Karen O’Connor agreed to a defense attorney’s motion to delay closing the case by two weeks as they filed a motion in the Court of Appeals.
Defense attorney Lorcan Staines SC informed Judge O’Connor that the intention was to ask the Court of Appeals to appeal and consider the “new” approach of the defendant’s legal team.
The judge noted that if she had convicted an adult of rape, she would have been given an eight-year principal sentence.
On Wednesday, the judge said that for a minor defendant the appropriate principal sentence would be four years. She said that after considering mitigating factors, including that the defendant was 13 at the time of the crime, the appropriate sentence was one year in prison.
She also imposed a nine-month prison sentence for each case of sexual assault, with all penalties imposed simultaneously. She ordered that the accused be placed under post-release surveillance for a period of two years.
The court heard the crime occurred at the victim’s home. During an interview with specialist Gardaí, the victim said that her cousin had inserted his finger into her vagina four times.
Judge O’Connor said the multiple allegations, all of a serious nature, were among the aggravating factors in the case. She noted the age difference between the defendant and the victim and that there was “a great imbalance of power” between them.
A report from Tusla submitted to the court states that the defendant saw pornography, which may have contributed to the crime.
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