Anonymity should extend to suspects of all sexual offences report states

Currently, some suspects accused of sexual assault can be named.

Suspects charged with sexual crimes should be granted anonymity unless and until they are convicted, according to a new report.

The recommendation follows a review of protections given to vulnerable witnesses in such cases, according to The Irish Times.

The O'Malley report was published today after a working group was established following the Belfast rape trial in 2018, in which four men stood trial following the alleged rape of a woman.

The report was submitted to the Department of Justice and Minister Helen McEntee has said she will consider the recommendations, stating sexual offences often carry the same stigma as rape.

In the Republic, some suspects currently accused of sexual assaults can be named.

Noeline Blackwell from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says it is clear that the current system needs to change.

"The victims place recognise the seriousness of their trauma, not taking in any way from the defence rights of the person accused, but to recognise that this is a person who is the victim of the crime.

"This is the person that the state is trying to vindicate their right and that they are properly treated in the court process."