The Sunday World has named renowned Irish Times writer Tom Humphries as the sports journalist at the center of underage sex accusations.
The paper claims that camogie coach Humphries is currently under suicide watch at a Dublin psychiatric hospital and could face jail for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Humphries is one of Ireland’s top sports writers and has co-written biographies for major athletes such as Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan, soccer star Niall Quinn, GAA coach Jack O’Connor and Cork hurling goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack.
The 48-year-old Humphries was one of the main critics of Michelle Smith after the Atlanta Olympics and conducted the interview with close friend Roy Keane that led to the Saipan fall-out at soccer’s 2002 World Cup.
The Sunday World claims that Humphries: “Started an 18 month affair with the camogie player when she was just 14.”
The paper says that, if convicted, Humphries faces a possible life sentence and being placed on the sex offenders register.
The SW also states that: “His alleged victim had told police that they had a consensual sexual relationship for over a year and a half which ended just three weeks ago.”
The report, written by respected crime writer Mick McCaffrey, continued: “She has now made a statement against him and Gardai (police) plan to interview more than 150 young sports stars about the claims.”
McCaffrey says that members of Humphries’ family are believed to have alerted police after suggestive texts and a series of naked photos of a young girl were discovered on a mobile phone.
Senior police sources, according to the Sunday World, believe there is enough evidence to charge Humphries with abusing the girl.
McCaffrey writes: “Although detectives have not been given medical permission to interview Humphries (48), they have built up a detailed picture of the allegations against him.
“They have copies of text messages, email exchanges and sordid picture messages exchanged between Humphries and the teenager over the last 18 months.”
Any defence that the sexual contact was consensual is not a valid defence in Irish law and Humphries could be charged with statutory rape.
The News of the World, who broke the story last weekend, doesn’t name Humphries but does state that detectives have searched his Dublin apartment.