Teenager found guilty of raping 14-year-old girl in 2010

Friday 15 January 2016 18.27
The man pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and sexual assault of the girl at a nightclub in Donegal
The man pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and sexual assault of the girl at a nightclub in Donegal

A Donegal man has been found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl at a teenage disco when he was aged 15.

The now 20-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's anonymity, was alleged to have pushed the girl into the ladies toilets and raped her in a cubicle.

The pair were seen kissing shortly before the incident after his friends and her friends had encouraged them to kiss during the youth disco.

The man pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and sexual assault of the girl at a nightclub in a Co Donegal town on 23 December 2010.

The jury of seven men and five women returned the unanimous verdicts of guilty on both charges after deliberating for just over two hours.

Before the jury began deliberating Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan had instructed it that, while consent was a constituent legal factor in rape, a person under 15 could not consent.

Ms Justice Heneghan told the jury that where a person below a certain age engaged in sexual activity it would not be consent even if the person appeared an enthusiastic participant.

The man's defence had put it to the woman that the couple were "shifting" at the disco and had gone to the toilet for privacy where "they were fondling and it got out of hand". The woman denied this version of events.

The judge remanded the accused in custody after Sergeant Angela Cummins told the court that he had previously breached the conditions of his bail a number of times.

He will be sentenced in March when a victim impact report and an assessment of the accused by the Probation Services will be provided to the court.