A MALE aged in his late teens has been arrested by Gardai as part of the investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.
The teenager was arrested in the Limerick area this Thursday morning and is being questioned Roxboro Garda Station. He is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Gardai are investigating claims that a fourteen-year-old girl was raped in the car park of a busy shopping centre.
The rape is alleged to have happened in the back of a van which was parked in the car-park of the Crescent Shopping Centre during the late-afternoon of November 25.
Gardai say their investigations are at a “very advanced stage” and that specially trained officers have interviewed the alleged victim about her ordeal.
Because of her age, garda procedure dictates that she is accompanied by her parents or another responsible adult during all interviews.
A friend of the young girl, who was also at the shopping centre on the day, has also made a statement to gardai.
A number of young men have been identified as part of the investigation by gardai.
The teenage victim, who is from Limerick city, was examined by doctors at a sexual assault unit in Cork following the alleged rape and gardai have been furnished with a medical report.
Detectives attached to Roxboro Road garda station have viewed CCTV footage from the shopping centre and they have made enquiries as to who owned the van.
It is understood they are satisfied there was some contact between the victim and her alleged attacker prior to the incident - possibly through a social media website - but there is no suggestion that she was forced into the van.
A garda spokesperson confirmed that even if the girl had consensual sex a criminal offence may still have been committed because of her age.