'Don't tell anyone about the touching or you will be in trouble' - rape trial told of alleged message from father

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'Don't Tell Anyone About The Touching Or You Will Be In Trouble' - Rape Trial Told Of Alleged Message From Father 'Don't Tell Anyone About The Touching Or You Will Be In Trouble' - Rape Trial Told Of Alleged Message From Father
The evidence was heard in the trial of three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children between 2014 and 2016
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Brion Hoban

A father accused of sexually abusing three of his children allegedly sent his daughter a message saying: “Don't tell anyone about the touching or you will be in trouble”.

The evidence was heard in the trial of three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children between 2014 and 2016.

During a recording of a specialist interview with gardaí which was played in court today, the girl said her father sent her this message while she was in foster care and also asked her to send him a photo of her “bum”.

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and aunts and uncles of the three main child complainants. The accused range in ages from 27 to 57 and live in various locations in Munster.

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The Central Criminal Court heard that both parents are also accused of wilfully neglecting two of their younger children.

The 56-year-old father of the three main child complainants has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

The 33-year-old mother of the three main child complainants has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

The mother and father have also pleaded not guilty to wilfully neglecting two other boys at a location in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

Specialist interviews

The trial has previously heard the female child complainant gave evidence via specialist garda interviews, which were recorded in August 2017, that her father, her mother, the 48-year-old accused man, the 35-year-old accused woman and her grandmother all touched her “private”.

When asked what she used her private for, the girl said she used it for “weeing”.

The girl also said that her father, the 48-year-old accused man and the 27-year-old accused man put their privates in her private.

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The court heard these interviews took place after the girl had been taken into care in April 2016 and was living with her foster parents.

During the interviews which were played in court today, the then nine-year-old girl said that while living with her foster parents, she got a tablet and sent messages on Facebook to her brother and her father.

The girl said her father sent a message to her saying: “Don't tell anyone about the touching or you will be in trouble”. She said her father sent her a photo of himself and her mother in which they were “naked and having sex”.

She said her father asked her to send him a photo of her “bum” and that she did. She said she took the photo with the tablet.

The girl said the 27-year-old accused man sent her a message saying: “Where are you?” She said she replied that she was, “in foster care, why?”

She said various accused took photos of her while they or another accused touched her “private”. She said her mother took a photo of the 48-year-old accused man putting his private in her private and her mother “posted it on Facebook”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury.

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