Munster rape trial hears girl describe how family members allegedly abused her

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Munster Rape Trial Hears Girl Describe How Family Members Allegedly Abused Her Munster Rape Trial Hears Girl Describe How Family Members Allegedly Abused Her
Mr Condon said the prosecution case is twofold - that these children were “seriously neglected” over a period of years and that they were sexually abused and assaulted by their parents and by relatives of their parents over a number of years
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Brion Hoban

A trial of three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children has heard a girl describe how her parents and relatives allegedly sexually abused her.

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and several 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.

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

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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 interview

Giving evidence via her specialist garda interviews which were recorded in August 2017 and were played before the court, the female child complainant read aloud things that she said she had written down on pieces of paper.

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.

The girl, who was aged nine at the time of the interview, read aloud that her father, her mother, the 48-year-old accused man, the 35-year-old accused woman and her grandmother all touched her “private”.

She said they touched her private with their fingers and that her clothes were off when it happened, except for when her grandmother touched her private from the “outside”.

When asked what she used her private for, the girl said she used it for “weeing”. She said her father, mother, grandmother and the 48-year-old accused man had all touched her private more than once.

The girl 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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She that her father did this in the sitting room of her house and it felt “weird”. She said his clothes were off and her pants were gone. She said this happened two times.

The girl said the 48-year-old accused man put his private in her private more than once, that it happened three times.

She said the 27-year-old accused man put his private in hers in the kitchen of his house. She said the 32-year-old accused woman was sitting on a chair in the room while this happened.

Brothers

The girl said that in her old house “there was sex going on”. She said on different mornings her brothers, who are both complainants in the case, came into her room and asked did she want to do sex and she said okay.

She said she heard the word sex from one of her brothers. She said sex was when her brother's private went into her private.

The girl said this happened once with one of her brothers and two times with the other brother.

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

A 35-year-old woman, who is the sister of the children's mother, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to three counts, including sexually assaulting the girl and sexually assaulting one of the boys at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

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A 48-year-old man, who is the partner of the 35-year-old woman, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty 12 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

A 27-year-old man, who is the brother of the children's mother, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty 10 counts including rape, oral rape, anal rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

A 32-year-old woman, who is the partner of the 27-year-old man, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to four counts, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

Finally, the 57-year-old maternal grandmother of the three child complainants has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to three counts of sexually assaulting the girl by touching her genitals at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

In his opening address to the jury, Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, said the case dealt with allegations of “the most difficult types” made by three young children against “the closest persons” in their lives.

Prosecution case

Mr Condon said the prosecution case is twofold - that these children were “seriously neglected” over a period of years and that they were sexually abused and assaulted by their parents and by relatives of their parents over a number of years.

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Counsel said the seven accused included both the father and the mother of the three children as well as their mother's sister and her partner, their mother's brother and his partner, and the children's maternal grandmother.

Mr Condon said the three children include a boy who is now aged around 14, a girl who is “just short of 13” and another boy who is “just short of 12”. He said the children have two further younger brothers who will not give evidence and a younger sister who is not relevant to the case.

Counsel said the charges on the indictment begin in August 2014 when the children moved into a new home in Munster and end in April 2016, when the children were taken into care. He said the children now live with foster parents.

Mr Condon said that as part of the process of the children being taken into care, allegations of sexual wrongdoing were made and then investigated by gardaí.

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