A prominent Dublin sports journalist has been charged at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Ireland in connection to the alleged sexual assault of a young girl at Croke Park stadium. The former journalist was granted bail but was met outside the courthouse by angry mobs as the public heckled and threw stones at the accused as he left the hearing.
The journalist was charged with three counts of alleged sexual assault and seven of defilement of a child under the age of 17.
He was also charged with several other offences including sexual exploitation of a minor and sex with an underage girl. The charges include 40 counts of child exploitation by inviting, inducing or coercing the alleged victim to engage in or participate in a sexual, indecent, or obscene act.
The 50-year-old accused from Dublin is facing trial by judge and jury on the allegations, which date from 2007 to 2011.
The Dublin District Court heard from police officer Edward Burke. The officer said the accused made no reply to the charges following his arrest by gardai, at 9:02am on Tuesday (Feb 25).
The journalist, who cannot be named due to the nature of the charges, sat in the dock with a hand to his face during the ten minute hearing.
It is alleged that between March and June 2007, the man sexually assaulted a female at Croke Park stadium, in Dublin, while in County Donegal, and in a hotel car park at Dublin Airport.
It is also alleged in seven charges that in 2011, he engaged in a sexual act with a child who was under 17 years of age, contrary to Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 2006.
Newstalk reports "There was no objection to bail which Judge Cormac Dunne granted on the man's own bond of €500 with a €2,000 independent surety.”
The accused is to sign in at a garda station in Dublin three times a week. The Irish Independent reported that “Judge Cormac Dunne granted him bail and adjourned the case for eight weeks for the preparation of a book of evidence.”
The DPP has directed that accused is to be tried by judge and jury on all charges in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Garda Edward Burke said in evidence he arrested the man at Ballymun Garda Station at 9.02am on Tuesday (Feb 25).
He was charged by Sgt Kevin Roche and made no reply to any of the counts after caution. He was then handed copies of the charges sheets.
Defence Solicitor Michael Hennessy said bail terms had been agreed between with the prosecution, subject to the court's approval.
The bail conditions stipulate that the defendant signs on three times per week at Ballymun police Station, surrenders his passport and agrees not to apply for a duplicate.
The accused was remanded on bail to appear before the court again on April 29 when the book of evidence is due to be served. An application for legal aid will be made at the next stage of the hearing.