Donegal man in his 70s on trial charged with sexually assaulting five-year-old girl

Alleged offence took place at the man's home in 2013

Donegal man in his 70s on trial charged with sexually assaulting five-year-old girl
By Staff Reportereditorial@donegaldemocrat.com@dgldemocrat

A Donegal man in his 70s has gone on trial charged with sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl in the county.

The man, who is not related to the alleged victim, has denied the offence which is alleged to have taken place at his home in 2013.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard claims that the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim, drew pictures of genitalia in the girl's scrapbook.

He is then alleged to have put her hand on his genitals outside his trousers and put his hand in her underwear and kissed her on the lips.

Prosecution counsel Roisin Lacey (SC) told the court that the girl told her mother and she then made an allegation to gardaí.

The child was interviewed and taken to the sexual assault treatment unit in Galway and the accused was arrested three days after the alleged incident.

A video recording of a Garda interview with the alleged victim, who is now aged eight-years-old, was shown to the jury.

In the interview, which was recorded at a garda station three days after the alleged offence, the girl said the man drew pictures on her scrapbook of “his wee bum” and her “wee bum”.

She told the garda interviewer that the accused “kisses me and lets me touch his bum”.

“It’s a man's thing where you wee. He made me touch it and he just touched mine,” she said.

She said he kissed her on the lips and “grabbed my hand and put it on his place where normal boys pee out of it”.

She said the man, who she described as “a nice old man,” gave her lollipops.

Defence counsel Colm Smyth (SC) said the accused had denied that he touched her genitals or put his hand down her pants or drew in her scrapbook.

“I say he didn't do those things and you are mistaken, “ he said.

The girl became upset at this point and Judge Martin Nolan adjourned proceedings briefly.

When asked by prosecution counsel did the man do the things to her she said he did, she replied yes.

When asked did she tell the garda in the video the truth, she said yes.

Dr David Casey, a forensic scientist with Forensic Science Ireland, examined underwear taken from the child after the alleged incident.

The child was medically examined 21 hours after the alleged incident.

Dr Casey said an examination of a sample of skin cells taken from the girl’s underwear did not detect the accused’s DNA.

The DNA of an unidentified female was detected. He said the most likely explanation was the DNA belonged to the person who had been wearing the underwear.

He said if skin cells were present there was a small chance that they would yield a DNA profile.

The trial continues today.