A Kilkenny man who claimed he was in a consensual sexual relationship with his younger cousin will be sentenced next week for rape and sexual assault of the then 14-year-old.
The 48-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 32-year-old man, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury last month of 15 counts of rape and oral rape and one charge of sexual assault following a trial.
The victim's father left him to live him with his cousin in a rural town in Kilkenny when he was 14 and the man was 30 years old. The man told gardaí when arrested that there was a consensual sexual relationship between them when the teenager turned 16 years old, having initially denied any inappropriate contact.
“I was lonely and stuck with him,” he told officers. He said he suggested to the victim “we might as well be having sex from what everyone is saying” before he said the teenager “more or less offered it to me”.
He said his cousin “probably thought I was going to throw him out” if he didn't agree to sex but claimed he would never have made him leave.
“I know it was wrong. I had a right to go somewhere and look for a woman. We got on too well and that's what led us down that road,” he said in interview. He told gardaí that the teenager had had a hard life and he felt sorry for him before he admitted that they had sexual contact roughly two or three times per week for over three years.
The victim later told gardaí he was first raped by the man after he came into his bedroom one night and threatened to shoot both him and his father if he told anyone about “what was about to happen” He then used cooking oils as a lubricant before raping the teenager.
He raped him in a similar way, a few nights later, punching the boy on the back of the head after the incident. A local garda told Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, that the man regularly forced the teenager to perform oral sex on him and also performed oral sex on the boy himself.
There was also evidence during the trial of the man being violent towards the teenager with the victim telling the jury that his cousin was often drunk and he once pushed him to the ground and kicked him in the stomach.
He left the home they shared as an 18-year-old after the man punched him and he returned the punch sending his cousin over the back of the couch.
The victim was encouraged by his then partner to make a complaint to gardaí which he did in March 2008 and the man was arrested in December 2009. A victim impact report stated that the man found it difficult to trust people and blamed his mother for leaving him in the care of his father.
He said he never held down a job because of depression and anxiety, his relationship with his partner failed and he was not there for his daughter, “her Daddy is not being present for her in soul and mind”. He said people in the local community knew what had happened him as a young child and turned a blind eye.
“I was afraid to be happy,” he said before he added that “thanks to him, I am on anti-depression tablets for what I presume will be the rest of my life”.
The garda agreed with Aidan Doyle SC, defending that his client only had minor previous convictions arising out of his alcohol addiction.
She agreed that the teenager had effectively been abandoned by his parents and left in the care of his cousin. Mr Doyle handed in a number of testimonials relating to his work history and a psychiatric report.
“He accepted that what occurred was wrong. He made an attempt to apologise. He doesn't see the relationship the way the complainant did,” counsel said.