Woman accused of sexually assaulting brother

A 46-year-old woman was put on trial by judge and jury yesterday accused of sexually assaulting her brother when he was aged from nine and she was in her early 20s, writes Liam Heylin.

The complainant said that years later, having ended all communication with his family, he brought this complaint of sexual abuse after his sister and his mother initiated legal proceedings to have access to the child that he and his partner had. He said he did not want his sister — the subject of his complaints — to have access to his or any child.

The woman pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges of sexual assault, and a jury of six men and six women was sworn in to hear the case before Judge Brian O’Callaghan at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The parties cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The complainant told prosecution barrister Noel Whelan what allegedly happened to him on 10 incidents between May 1993 and April 1995.

“People used to say my sister was like my second mother. There were occasions when people saw us on the street and people thought she was my mother,” he said.

He said the first alleged incident occurred when he was nine and his parents were away for a weekend in May 1993. “She was wearing pyjamas, peachy pink colour with a floral pattern. She got into the bed alongside me. She took my left arm in her left hand and brought it around her body. She then put it on her breast outside her pyjamas. She started moving and squeezing my hand so that it squeezed her breast. She then put her hand under the pyjama top so that I was fondling her bare breast. She got me to squeeze and move her breast,” he said.

He described other similar incidents and another one where she allegedly got his hand and put it onto her vagina and forced one of his fingers inside her.

He said these occurred in the family home when there was no one else present and once in a hotel in Dublin when the family was away together. He said that strange as it sounded there were times when he ejaculated. “It was almost like I was on auto-pilot. I did nothing to stop her.

“When things started happening I did not understand quite what it was. When I came to understand it was something wrong and problematic I thought I would be seen as being at fault and responsible in some way, and given the nature of the way things work in that house I would be blamed, I would be hit or beaten as a result,” he said.

He and his partner had a child in 2013 and he decided that he did not want his family to have anything to do with the child. He said his sister and mother sought access through the courts. He went to the gardaí and made the complaint about the alleged sexual assaults in the 1990s.

The trial continues today.

- Irish Examiner

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