Man jailed for raping teenage babysitter – The Irish Times

A man who raped and sexually assaulted a teenage girl who was babysitting the children of a woman he was having an affair with in the late 1980s has been jailed for eight years.

The court heard that in one incident the Dublin man, now aged 76, called to the girl’s home on the pretext of taking her for an interview for a job at a nearby newsagents. He instead took her for a drive to the Wicklow Mountains and raped her.

The court heard the teenager was frantic and screaming during the drive as she was afraid of what the man might do and believed he might kill her. The man told her to shut up and that she would be all right. He handed her a bar of chocolate and a lollipop after raping her. The victim said she scrubbed herself raw with bleach afterwards and feared she might be pregnant.

In an earlier incident, the man took the teenager to the home of the woman she had babysat for on the pretext of having her to clean the house so a rental deposit would be returned. The woman later told gardaí the man had repeatedly promised her he would not touch her but she told gardaí that after she got into the house that day “everything went blank” until she came to lying face down on the floor with the man raping her from behind. He asked her to clean the house after raping her but she fled.

The now 51-year-old woman also told gardaí there were occasions when the man forced her to perform oral sex on him.

A garda told the court that the woman did not report the incidents for a number of years. When the allegations were put to the accused in November 2020, he denied the offences and tried to distance himself from having any knowledge of the victim.

The accused pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to charges of raping and indecently assaulting the then 15-year-old girl in Dublin between November 1988 and August 1989. A jury convicted him of two charges of rape and three charges of indecent assault last month.

The man was aged around 41 at the time and was married with children. He was having an affair at the time with the woman who the victim was babysitting for. This woman’s partner was living in England at the time.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had got justice after 35 years but it still feels at times like the offences took place yesterday. She said the man belittled her and made her feel like dirt.

“I thought you would get away with what you had done. That you were laughing at me. You made me afraid .. I felt nowhere was safe for me,” she said, adding that she believed nobody would listen to her and that the man knew this and used it to his advantage. “At 51-years-old my suffering can end. I have been heard and your suffering can begin.”

Mr Justice Patrick McGrath described the complainant as “a brave woman who has not allowed these crimes to defeat her, but has determinedly brought up her children and put herself through college”.

He also highly commended her for “her bravery and determination in reporting the crime and giving evidence at trial”.

Mr Justice McGrath said the rape offences warranted a headline sentence of 12 years taking into account the aggravating factors including the fact that the man committed violent offences of a sexual nature against “a somewhat vulnerable” teenager.

“He clearly took advantage of her,” the judge said, adding that the man had the teenager under his control and perpetrated these offences against her. He described it as “a sequence of escalating offending” that involved “a degree of premeditation” and on many occasions he had “ignored her pleading to stop”.

Mr Justice McGrath imposed a sentence of 11 years. He suspended the final three years of that term, taking into account what he described as mitigating factors such as the man’s current age, the fact he had been of “otherwise good character and led a pro-social life as a hard-working family man”.

The judge noted many testimonials handed in on the man’s behalf, including one from his wife, which described him as “a doting grandfather”.

He said the man is to engage with the Probation Service upon his release from prison, not to have any contact with the woman or her family either directly or indirectly, and not have any unsupervised access to children under the age of 18.

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