26-year-old man given suspended sentence at Tralee Circuit Court for defilement of a child

A 26-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for the defilement of a child under the age of 15.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, had pleaded guilty to engaging in explicit sexual acts with a 12-year-old girl when he was 14-years-old.

The offence was committed between the 30th and 31st July 2006.

During the sentence hearing, the court heard the victim was on holidays with her family in Kerry at the time of the incident.

The defendant, who was 14 at the time, carried out sexual acts when the victim was 12-years-old.

The victim said the incident has impacted her enormously; she felt guilty for making the initial disclosure; it has disrupted her family dynamic; and she’s struggled to move on with her life.

The court heard the accused committed the offence out of childish curiosity at the time, and since, has co-operated fully with the investigation and admitted to the offence from the outset.

Judge Tom O’Donnell stressed the victim was not to bear any burden of guilt and should remember she did nothing wrong.

He subsequently handed down a 20-month suspended sentence in Tralee Circuit Court and placed the accused on Sex Offenders List for a period of five years.