By Ralph Riegel in The Irish Independent Online
A JUDGE expressed disgust yesterday at the "pig ignorance" of a community which ostracised a teenage girl after she levelled sex abuse allegations against her father.
The man a 52-year-old father-of-four received a three-year prison sentence yesterday after being convicted by a Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury of 27 counts of sexual assault on his favourite daughter, starting when she was just eight years old.
However, neither the girl's family nor her neighbours believed her when she first levelled the allegations.
The girl who is now 18-years-old had to move out of home and was effectively shunned by the north Cork community.
Judge Sean O Donnabhain said he was "quite horrified" at how the girl had been treated over simply telling the truth. "She had been ostracised by her family and some pig ignorant people in the neighbourhood," he declared. "This girl has been through a truly harrowing time."
Judge O Donnabhain paid glowing tribute to gardai who had been the only ones to believe the girl's story and who, through meticulous investigation, finally brought the man to justice.
The man received a three-year prison sentence though Judge O Donnabhain agreed to suspend the final 18 months if he complies with strict court orders. The judge also directed he be listed on Ireland's Sex Offenders Register for the next 10 years.
Yesterday, the father sobbed uncontrollably as he apologised to his daughter for the abuse he had subjected her to.
"I am sorry for what has happened to us," he said. "I didn't want it to happen. It has broken up our family."
The man who cannot be named for legal reasons was stopped by Judge O Donnabhain who warned that his "excess of self-pity" should cease given what he had subjected his daughter to. The man then apologised to his daughter for what she had suffered at his hands.
The girl's mother told the court she had believed her husband all the way through the trial but now accepted what had actually happened and apologised to her daughter for not believing her.
"You should feel no guilt for taking this case," she declared.
He was convicted by the jury on 27 counts of sexually assaulting the girl between January, 1992 and September, 1996.
The trial heard the man would lure his daughter away from her friends and take her either to a bedroom or a garden shed. He would force her to touch his genitals or, on occasions, take off her clothes and carry out sexual acts.
Posted by paul at November 22, 2002 09:25 AM