« BackMan denies five counts of indecent assault against teen in Kerry in 1970s

A woman who claims she was indecently assaulted when she was a teenager has told a trial in Tralee she used to hold her alleged abuser’s baby in her arms to act as a barrier between her and him.

Tralee courthouse2

The woman was staying in the man’s home at a location in Kerry in the summer of 1977 when the alleged abuse occurred.

The accused, who cannot be named, has denied five counts of indecent assault against a minor.

The woman alleges the abuse occurred between May and October 1977 when she was 14.

In evidence, she said the abuse often happened in the dead of night, sometimes when one of the man’s children was sharing her sofa bed.

She said she took to wearing a swimsuit and underwear to bed in the hope it would offer her protection.

On one occasion, she claims the man’s wife disturbed him by arriving home when he had her pinned to the floor.

She claims the woman later shouted at her, telling her she was ugly and had hair like a witch.

She said she abused alcohol, suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and had suicidal thoughts arising from the abuse.

Defending barrister John O’Sullivan put it to her it was unbelievable that a child sleeping in the same bed would not have been woken.

The man’s wife gave evidence that the complainant had only been in their house for less than three weeks and was ‘troubled’.

She also said there was no baby in the house at the time and her youngest was four years old.

The trial continues before Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.