A LIMERICK man who sexually abused a young boy 21 years ago avoided a prison sentence.
When arraigned at the Central Criminal Court, the accused, who was aged 16 at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted rape.
The abuse occurred during the summer of 1993 in a wooded area near the man’s home on the outskirts of Limerick city.
His victim, the court heard, was between six and seven at the time.
During a sentencing hearing, Maurice Coffey BL, prosecuting, said the victim still suffers night terrors as a result of the abuse.
“He has caused an irreparable amount of damage to my life”, he wrote in a victim impact statement adding that his abuser was “aggressive, manipulating, dominating and most of all, a predator.”
A local garda told the court the abuse started when the boy found the accused reading a pornographic magazine in the woods. The accused then put his hand on the child’s genitals, causing him to run away.
On another occasion the accused, who is now aged 37, brought the boy into the wooded area where he had laid down a blanket, molested him and tried to orally rape him.
Isobel Kennedy SC, said after the victim went to gardaí in 2012 her client voluntarily came back to Ireland and made full admissions.
She said he is deeply remorseful and later wrote a letter to his victim apologising for the abuse.
Ms Kennedy added that the man’s wife is very worried he won’t be able to return to the US with her as a result of the case.
Imposing sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Carney said the mitigating factors included that the offences were of very great antiquity.
He said the accused was 16 at the time and had been experiencing considerable bullying.
He noted that when allegations were raised, the accused travelled back voluntarily to Ireland to deal with them and made admissions which were more extensive than the allegations made against him.
The judge also said the accused was not likely to re-offend. “However the gravity of this offence must not be lost sight of in any way,” concluded Mr Justice Carney.
He imposed a three year prison sentence, which he suspended for three years.