Woman sexually abused as a child to decide on meeting her attacker

A woman who was sexually assaulted as a young girl will tell a court today if she is prepared to meet her abuser under the Restorative Justice Programme.

The man was convicted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last April of sexually assaulting his brother’s step-daughter after coming into her bed late at night.

Judge Patrick McCartan is due to sentence the man who sexually assaulted his brother's step-daughter when she was a 7-year-old girl.

The 45-year-old man was convicted by a jury who acquitted him on two similar charges, all dating back to the years 2000 and 2001.

On his last court date, the man's barrister Caroline Biggs said he rejects the jury's guilty verdict but she was encouraged by the judge to engage in further consultation with her client to assess his position.

Judge McCartan is considering using the restorative justice programme run by the probation service where the victim meets the guilty party to try and put right what happened.

He's found that the offending was at the lower end of the scale and that "a close family" had been "badly fractured" by what occurred.

However the programme – which is rarely used in these types of cases - will only go ahead if the 20 year old victim and her abuser are willing to engage in the process.

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