An 83-year-old American man who was accused of raping his 17-year-old female relative in Limerick in 2010 was found not guilty by Ireland’s Central Criminal Court earlier this week.
He told the court that he did have sex with his young relative but claimed that it was consensual.
The 17-year-old and the elderly man, neither of whom have been identified, were on holidays in Ireland and sharing a twin hotel room in Limerick on July 31 and August 1, 2010.
The young woman, who said that her older relative was like a grandfather to her, brought two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault against him.
She said that he pinned her down on the bed, asked her when she first became attracted to him, and called her “my girl,” TheJournal.ie reported.
She testified that she was in such shock that she completely froze and stopped resisting his attempts to force her to perform oral sex, thinking “it can’t get worse.” However, she said that he then made a painful attempt to penetrate her.
The man testified that his younger relative willingly initiated oral sex after confiding in him about an eating disorder. He said that he then tried to have sexual intercourse with her but that he was not able to.
The Journal reported that during cross examination he claimed that “there was never a moment where she objected” and that “she was well able to” end the interaction.
He admitted that in the days after the incident, he apologized to another one of their relatives for causing the 17-year-old “so much pain,” adding “Regardless of who started or who was responsible, it was a very painful thing for the family, I very much regretted it.”
He was found not guilty on all charges by a jury of six men and six women, who deliberated for just under five hours.