A Killarney man has received a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a young girl when he was 15 years old.
20-year-old Nathan Moynihan of Ballyspillane, Killarney, appeared for sentencing before Judge Sinead Behan at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.
In November 2021, Nathan Moynihan was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in October 2018, when he was 15-years-old.
He had been convicted by a jury after pleading not guilty to the charge.
The court previously heard that in October 2018, the young girl and her mother were temporarily staying in a house in rural Kerry, owned by someone known to them, while they were moving house.
Then 15-years old, Nathan Moynihan - who was also staying in the house at the time, entered the room of the young girl while her mother was working late one night, woke her while the lights were off, and touched her inappropriately.
A victim impact statement read by the girls mother said he had robbed her daughter of her innocence, opened up a world of hurt and embarrassment for her, and stole her reputation from her.
The court heard how Mr Moynihan had engaged with the probation services and indicated insight and remorse in a letter he penned.
Testing carried out by the probation service also concluded that at age 19, he had a mental age of about 13.
Judge Sinead Behan said there were a number of factors to consider in the case; she noted aggravating circumstances – that the victim was a child, it occurred in a home where a child is entitled to feel safe; she also noted that a previous judge had dealt with the matter in 2018.
Judge Behan said this case had been ongoing for over five years and it was time for finality in everyone’s interest.
She handed down a headline sentence of five years, but reduced this to three years due to mitigating factors.
These included that Mr Moynihan has no previous convictions, is undertaking a college course, that he engaged meaningfully with probation services; and that Mr Moynihan struggles with cognitive function.
She sentenced Mr Moynihan to three years, but suspended this in it’s entirety in view of the probation reports, for a period of three years.