A JUDGE has sought legal submissions in the case of a well-known sporting figure who has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexually assaulting two teenage girls over a number of years.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty earlier this year to six sample charges when he was arraigned at Limerick Circuit Court.
The 58-year-old admitted sexually assaulting one of the girls on three occasions on dates between August 1991 and August 1993 and he admitted sexually assaulting the second girl on three occasions on dates between 1995 and 1997.
The defendant had been charged with more than 30 offences but Michael Collins BL, prosecuting, instructed by State Solicitor Aidan Judge, said his guilty pleas were acceptable to the State and that the remainder of the charges would not be pursued.
During a sentencing hearing, Judge Gerald Keyes was told the offences took place in the bedroom of a house in County Limerick and in a motor vehicle, which the defendant owned.
Both girls were aged just 13 when the first of the offences happened.
One of the women revealed, in her victim impact statement, that the abuse was “constant” and happened “almost every day”.
The nature of the abuse, the court heard, included incidents of inappropriate touching, groping and fondling of the two girls.
One of the women said that she still finds it hard to trust people, build relationships or keep it together when she is asked about her past.
She said she “flinches at the mere mention of her childhood” and has had suicidal thoughts over the embarrassment and shame.
Both women said they always felt in fear of saying anything given the man’s position in society and in the local community when he lived.
One of the victims said the fear of not being believed (if she revealed the abuse) weighed heavy on her mind for some time.
However, the court heard that it was out of fear that other children could be put at risk that the victims decided to come forward and made a complaint to gardai in 2012. Judge Keyes was told the man initially denied any involvement in the offences when interviewed by gardai.
However, when a court date was set for the proceedings he entered a guilty plea.
The court heard that the man told gardai he was deeply ashamed of what he had done and that he had lost everything since his actions came to light.
The man does not have any previous convictions and his name has already been placed on the register of sex offenders.
The case has been listed for mention again on June 6.