A Killarney man will be sentenced tomorrow having been found guilty of 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 this week at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.
In November 2021, he 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 heard that 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.
Mr Moynihan was also staying at this house over a weekend in October 2018, and this is how they came into contact at that time.
Then-15-year-old Mr Moynihan 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.
The 10-year-old girl made her mother aware of what had happened two weeks later, and she immediately involved the gardaí.
In a victim impact statement read in court this week, the girl’s mother told Mr Moynihan he knew exactly what he was going to do that night when he went into the girl’s room.
She said he robbed her daughter of her innocence, opened up a world of hurt and embarrassment for her, and stole her reputation from her.
She accused him of lying about his actions for five years with no remorse for the girl, to whom he’s never once apologised.
Senior Counsel for the defence, Mark Nicholas accepted this was an unacceptable act, but said his client did it out of curiosity rather than any sexual attraction.
Mr Nicholas said that testing carried out by the probation service concluded that at age 19, he had a mental age of about 13.
The court heard Mr Moynihan has been subject to verbal abuse in the locality as a result of his conviction.
The defence claimed he has now begun to demonstrate insight into his offending, and wrote a letter of apology, at which point the mother of the girl loudly laughed sarcastically.
Judge Sinead Behan adjourned proceedings until tomorrow for this letter of apology to be furnished to the victim’s family, and remanded Mr Moynihan in custody.