Waterford man goes on trial for serial rape and sexual assault of younger sister

By Jessica Magee

A 49-year-old man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of the serial rape and sexual assault of his younger sister over a five-year period in the 1980s.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to 56 counts of rape and 15 counts of sexual assault in County Waterford, on dates between December 1983 and June 1988.

The abuse is alleged to have begun when the complainant was four years old and continued until she was aged 10 or 12.

The woman, now aged 41, says her brother abused her in their family home in County Waterford and at various other nearby locations including fields, woodlands, school grounds, a community centre and a clubhouse.

Opening the case today Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, told the jury that two of the alleged rapes took place on specific dates, namely the girl's First Holy Communion in June 1984 and the day after it.

The court heard that from the time the woman was about four years old, her brother would touch her inappropriately and that these incidents progressed to oral rape and rape as she got older.

The woman took the stand and said that by the age of six she was being raped regularly, as she remembered sitting in senior infants in school and feeling sore.

She said her brother would bring her up to his bedroom under the illusion that they were going to play a board game, but then would then lock his door and abuse her.

The woman said the abuse also took place in the sitting room when there was no one in the house, and on a weekly basis on the nights when her mother was at bingo in the local community hall.

She said her brother started off asserting that what he was doing was a “secret” but that this progressed to a threat to kill her mother, on one occasion using his father's hunting gun to threaten her.

“He took the shotgun one day and he came into my room and he told me that if I told anyone what was going on, that he was going to shoot my mother,” she told the court, crying.

She said her brother would force her to watch pornographic videos and re-enact what was happening in the film, be it an oral sex scene or sexual intercourse.

The woman said she would try to squirm away and turn her head so she wouldn't have to look at the videos, but that he would hold her head in place to force her to watch.

She alleged that her brother would call her names like “dirty little bitch” and would get angry with her if she showed unwillingness, hitting and pinching her.

The woman told the jury that the abuse continued up until her twelfth year, when her body began to change and she put on weight.

The man was arrested in August 2015 on foot of allegations made by his sister, but he denied any improper sexual activity with her.

The trial continues next Monday before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six women and six men.

It is due to continue for at least another week.

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