A teenage boy who is charged with sexually assaulting a schoolgirl has brought a High Court challenge aimed at halting his prosecution.
The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims that his trial should be halted on grounds including that there has been an inexcusable delay of approximately three years in prosecuting him.
The charge against the male arises out of an incident that occurred in a public park in June 2019.
A teenage girl claims that she was prevented from leaving a place she had gone to make a phone call by approximately eight teenage boys.
It is claimed that individuals involved were all secondary school students in the same school as the girl.
The girl claims that one of the males told her to perform a sex act on another of the males present.
She tried to leave the area, but says she was prevented from doing so by the males. She claims that some of the males began touching her, and also got on top of her. She claims couldn't get them off her and agreed to kiss one of the males so they would let her leave the location.
The complainant also alleges that she was eventually allowed leave when some of her friends arrived on the scene.
A complaint was made to gardaí in early 2020 regarding that incident.
Following a Garda investigation, the male teenager was charged in May 2022 with an offence of sexual assault and has been sent forward by the District Court where he will face trial before the Circuit Criminal Court.
She claims that the accused was one of the males present who had touched her.
It is alleged that the male put his hands under her shirt, over her clothes and over her body.
In his High Court judicial review action against the Director of Public Prosecutions the teen claims that he was entitled to a speedy trial, given the alleged offence is said to have occurred when he was 15 years of age and a minor.
The delay in prosecuting the boy before his 18th birthday, it is claimed, means that he will be tried as an adult.
This it is submitted should and could have been avoided.
As a result of the delay, it is claimed that by the time he was charged he has lost the protections included in the 2001 Childrens Act, including certain rights, including his rights to be tried convicted and sentenced as a child.
The excessive delay it is claimed means that the teen has been denied the right to a fair trial, in breach of his Constitutional rights, as well as his right sunder the European Convention on Human Rights,
In his action the teen, who is represented by Michael O'Higgins SC, seeks an order restraining his continued prosecution for an offence of sexual assault contract to Section 2 of the 1990 Criminal Law (Rape) Act, as amended by section 37 of the 2001 Sex Offenders Act.
He also seeks declarations including that there has been blameworthy prosecutorial delay on the part of the DPP, that there has been a breach of his constitutional and ECHR rights to an expeditious trial, and that he has been unfairly deprived of safeguards under the 2001 Childrens Act.
He further seeks damages for the alleged breaches of his rights.
The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who on an ex-parte basis, granted the teenager permission to bring his judicial review challenge.
The matter will return before the High Court in February.