A LIMERICK man who sexually abused a young boy more than two decades ago will be sentenced later today.
During a sentencing hearing last week, the presiding judge was asked to consider applying the Probation Act in the case of the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The accused, who was 16 at the time, is now married and living in America and the Central Criminal Court was told that any conviction could prevent him returning there.
If the Probation Act is applied, a conviction will not be recorded allowing the accused man to retain a clean criminal record.
The now 37 year old pleaded guilty to attempted rape on the basis of full details of the offending being heard by the court.
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 was between six and seven at the time.
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 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.
After hearing Ms Kennedy’s submission, Mr Justice Paul Carney asked: “If I apply the Probation Act what do you think every rape crisis centre and tabloid newspaper in the country is going to do?”
“And they’re not going to go after you Ms Kennedy,” he continued.
The judge indicated he will impose sentence this morning.