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Eleven face court on 212 charges of child rape and exploitation

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 09/06/2019 Robert Cox
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Eleven people have appeared in court charged with more than 200 counts relating to the alleged rape, sexual exploitation and neglect of children in the south of the country.

Six women and five men were arrested at Garda stations yesterday morning and taken before a court charged with a total of 212 counts. These include rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, child neglect, and cruelty to a child.

The arrests follow a two-year investigation led by specially trained officers attached to the Garda National Protective Services Bureau.

The court, the location of which cannot be identified for legal reasons, was told by a Garda inspector that the DPP had directed that all of the charges against the 11 accused proceed to a trial on indictment at the Central Criminal Court.

All the accused were remanded on strict bail conditions. Each was ordered not to make contact with four named individuals, two males and two females, either directly or indirectly, through a third party, or via social media.

The accused were ordered to surrender their passports; sign on weekly at different Garda stations in the south of the country; notify gardaí of any change in their address; notify gardaí of their contact mobile telephone number, and be available on this number at all times to investigating gardaí.

The 11 range in age from in their 20s to their 70s. Eleven Garda witnesses gave evidence of the arrest, charge, and cautioning of each accused. Specific evidence relating to the alleged offences was not disclosed in court. The presiding judge ordered reporting restrictions, prohibiting the naming of the 11 accused, in order to protect the identities of the alleged victims.

© Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland The court also ordered restrictions on reporting any locations linked to the alleged offences. The judge said: ‘If I read anything that leads me to believe parties have been identified I will seek to have the matter brought to the attention of the authorities.’ The alleged victims were ‘vulnerable’ and ‘entitled to their anonymity’, the judge added.

A female accused, aged in her 30s, was charged with six counts of child neglect/cruelty, 13 counts of sexual exploitation and 17 counts of sexual assault on a child. She made no reply to the charges. A male accused, aged in his 50s, was charged with six counts of child neglect/cruelty, 14 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of rape and 12 counts of sexual assault.

This man made no reply to some of the charges. In response to one charge, the man allegedly told gardaí: ‘Not true, that one.’ Another woman, in her 30s, was charged with eight counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation, and made no reply to the charges, gardaí told the court.

A male in his 20s was charged with five counts of rape, 16 counts of sexual assault and 18 counts of sexual exploitation. He made no reply to all charges, gardaí said. Another male, in his 40s, who was charged with 10 counts of rape; 12 counts of sexual assault; and seven counts of sexual exploitation, allegedly told gardaí in response to some of the charges: ‘It didn’t happen.’

Another female accused, in her 30s, was charged with 14 counts of sexual assault as well as 14 counts of sexual exploitation.

A female in her 50s charged with eight counts of sexual assault and four counts of sexual exploitation also made no reply, gardaí said. A male, aged in his 70s, who was charged with five counts of sexual assault and four counts of sexual exploitation, did not reply to any of the charges, gardaí said.

Another male, aged in his 30s, who was charged with two counts of sexual assault, also made no reply to the charges, gardaí said.

A fifth female defendant, aged in her 30s, who is accused of two counts of sexual assault, as well as two counts of sexual exploitation, replied ‘no comment’ to each charge, gardaí told the court.

A sixth female accused, aged in her 30s, who was charged with one count of sexual exploitation did not reply to the charge. Free legal aid was granted to all 11 accused, who will appear in court again on November 21.

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