A FORMER member of the Defence Forces who sexually abused his teenage stepdaughter has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Last month, the 52-year-old was convicted of three charges following a week-long trial at Limerick Circuit Court.
The defendant had been accused of a total of 20 offences, which were alleged to have happened at his home in the city on dates between May 2008 and December 2009.
In her evidence the victim, who is now aged 19, told the jury her stepfather had repeatedly groped and felt her outside her clothing and she said he often referred to her and her mother as his “two whores”.
The girl claimed on two occasions the accused man put his hands down the side of her pants and ripped her underwear from her while her mother sat in another chair in the same room.
The teenager’s mother, who is aged 41, had been accused of “intentionally or recklessly” endangering her daughter by allegedly allowing the sexual abuse to continue.
However, she was found not guilty of the charge.
Imposing sentence this Monday, Judge Carroll Moran said the defendant had abused his position of trust and had been involved in the “premature sexualisation” of the young girl.
He said the use of inappropriate language in the presence of the teenager was an aggravating factor in the case as was the fact he exposed himself to her on several occasions.
The judge commented that the offences happened relatively recently - at a time when everybody was aware of the attitude of society towards such abuse.
The Judge noted that the defendant maintains his innocence and that an appeal against the convictions is likely. Previously, Anthony Sammon SC told the court his client was not in a position to offer an apology to the victim as he believes the jury “got it wrong”.
The judge imposed a three year prison sentence, suspending the final year for five years. The name of the defendant has been placed on the register of sexual offenders for ten years.