Posted: February 25th, 2020
In Leinster, a 29-year-old male is on trial in relation to the sexual assault of four girls at the creché where he was employed.
It is alleged that the man, on dates between February 2015 and December 2016, assault the group of girls 23 times. The individual in question had entered a plea of not guilty in relation to the accusations that have been registered by the girls who were aged between five and eight-years-old at the time of the assault.
The man has been accused of ten counts of sexual assault in relation to the first girl, eight in relation to the second girl, three in relation to the third and two in relation to the fourth. The offences are all alleged to have occurred in different places at the crèche and on a bus owned by the
In order to protect the identities of the children involved, the man’s name and details of the location of the crèche cannot be reported by the media.
Prosecuting Counsel Orla Crowe said the man was first employed to work in the kitchen of the crèche in 2013. However, not long later he began working with after-school children.
In December 2016 was was let go from his position as he had not attained the level of childcare qualification required by legislation.
The man’s job involved bringing children to school in the early mornings and collecting them after school ended. As an additional duty he supervised the older after-school children in the afternoons.
Ms Crowe said an allegation of sexual misconduct against the man was first made on 12 December 2016 when one of the young girls informed another child who, in turn, advised a staff member. At this point in time the child’s parents were made aware of the situation and the gardaí who kicked off an official investigation.
The court was informed that the children would be available to be cross-examined by the defence using a video link, and videos of interviews, conducted by specialist garda interviewers, were recorded in January 2017 and will be shown to the court during the trial. The jury was told they would also hear from the children’s parents and the specialist garda interviewers.
The accusations were as follows:
- The first girl was allegedly sexually assaulted on a number of occasions between September 2015 and June 2016 when she was seven and eight-years-old. The assaults are said to have taken place in the after-school room, on the school bus and in the crèche toilet.
- The man is has been accused in relation to eight sample counts of assault on the second girl who was aged between five and six-years-old during the attacks.
- At the time of their assaults the third and fourth girls in question were eight years old.
The court was told that the proprietor of the crèche where the man was employed said the man had no qualification in child care when he started work but had begun his official training. This was in line with the company policy on employment and the man had completed a one-day child safeguarding workshop.
Speaking about the man’s suitability for the role the proprietor said that she felt it would be good to have a male role model in the crèche and he was attempting to become properly qualified, albeit slowly.
The woman added that, as legislation had changed and anyone working in a crèche after 31 December 2016 had to have a FETAC level 5 qualification, the man had been aware that he would not be able to continue his employment because he did not have this qualification.
On 12 December 2016 she was in the office when a staff member came to her and informed her that one of the after school students had advised another child that she had kissed the man in the privates and then laughed.
She told the court that she was certain was course of action to follow after being told this in case it was merely a case of children being fanciful and talking about such matters. She spoke to the parents of the children involved and the following day a father of one of the girls informed her he was going to contact the gardaí in relation to the incident.
Due to this she contacted the man and informed him that he was be suspended from his role as there was a serious allegation made against him. Following this the gardaí came to the crèche that afternoon with a warrant and retrieved footage from the CCTV system.
The trial, which is expected to last around three weeks, will continue next Monday.