University says it was not aware lecturer was before courts on child sex assault charges

ireland
University Says It Was Not Aware Lecturer Was Before Courts On Child Sex Assault Charges University Says It Was Not Aware Lecturer Was Before Courts On Child Sex Assault Charges
When contacted for comment following John Hogan’s jailing, Technological University of Shannon said Hogan was still a member of its faculty staff. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
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David Raleigh

Convicted child sex offender and university lecturer John Hogan appeared not to have informed his employer that he had been charged with criminal offences, it has emerged.

Hogan (59) of Ashdale Avenue, Terenure, Dublin, was jailed for three years with the final year suspended at Limerick Circuit Court last Monday.

He had pleaded guilty to five counts of sexually assaulting two of his nieces at their homes in Co Limerick, from when they were aged eight and 10.

For the last four years, Hogan had enjoyed anonymity because of a court order which prevented the media from legally naming him in order to protect his victims.

However, last Monday, Hogan’s nieces Caitriona Hickey and Niamh Richardson waived their right to anonymity so that Hogan, who is a lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering and Trades at the TUS Athlone campus, could be legally identified.

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When contacted for comment following Hogan’s jailing, Technological University of Shannon (TUS) said Hogan was still a member of its faculty staff and that it had not been aware he was before the courts up until it had been reported in the media.

“We can confirm that John Hogan is an employee of the Technological University of the Shannon,” replied a TUS spokeswoman.

In a follow-up statement, the spokeswoman said: “Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) first became aware of the criminal charges against and conviction of John Hogan from the media reports on his sentencing, which were published on Monday, 16th [of] May 2022.”

“TUS is dealing with the issues arising from the sentencing as a matter of urgency.”

'Battling demons'

Caitriona Hickey said she was “shocked” to learn that TUS had not been aware of the case against Hogan, given that she said there had been investigations as well as post-sentencing reports submitted to the court on Hogan’s risk of reoffending.

“I’m shocked and surprised, I’m just in shock he managed to keep it that way, it’s terrifying. He must have really thought his legal team had done enough to keep him out of jail,” Ms Hickey said.

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Hogan was in his mid 30s when he sexually assaulted his two nieces at their homes in Co Limerick, and one of them at his home in Dublin on dates between 1994 and 2001.

He had faced a total of 10 counts of sexual assault of the two women when they were young girls, however five of the counts were taking into consideration by the court.

His nieces disclosed the assaults to their families in 2017, and when he was confronted by members of the victim’s families, Hogan admitted he had sexually assaulted them.

Hogan told the families he was battling “demons” and that he was “getting help”, his sentencing hearing heard.

Hogan told Ms Hickey’s father, Sean Hickey, “there’s no point denying it” when the allegations were put to him, and he told Bob Richardson that his daughter was “completely true” in her disclosure about the sexual assaults.

'He needs to be stopped'

Reading their victim impacts statements in court, the two women said they were waiving their anonymity “to ensure John doesn't do this to anyone else”.

Ms Hickey told gardaí: “He needs to be stopped, I never want anyone else to experience it”.

Hogan had “apologised” and was “remorseful”, his barrister told the court.

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The barrister said Hogan had claimed to have been a “victim of sexual abuse as a teenager” but that Hogan was not using this as “an excuse” for his own sexual offending.

The barrister said Hogan was offering €15,000 compensation to his two nieces as a “token” of his “apology”.

He told the court this should not be taken as an attempt by Hogan “to buy” his way out of a prison sentence.

The barrister said that due to Hogan’s conviction, and “publicity” about the case, Hogan would likely suffer consequences regarding his job as a lecturer.

He said Hogan had been placed on a register for sexual offenders, and argued that a custodial sentence would “undermine” Hogan’s willingness to seek therapy as well as his ongoing engagement with a private counsellor.

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He said Hogan’s “degree of rehabilitation is incomplete, and he needs to go further down this road”, however, he said there was limited resources in the prison system offering “specialised therapy” for sex offenders.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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