Kildare judge not sure sexual assault charge sufficient

Gardai told to consult DPP again

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Kildare judge not sure sexual assault charge sufficient

Judge Desmond Zaidan was uncomfortable with sexual assault charge after he heard alleged evidence.

A District Court Judge has this adjourned a case against a young man accused of a sexual assault to allow prosecuting Gardai to consult with the DPP over it.

Having heard an outline of the basics of the case against the young man at Naas District Court this morning, Judge Desmond Zaidan was surprised that the charge was one of sexual assault rather than a more serious one of rape.

The judge heard that the evidence would be that the victim is a woman who had met the man on a dating website. On the second date it will be alleged that the pair, who are both in their early 20’s, were in his bedroom and she rebuffed his sexual advances on a number of occasions by pushing his hands away. It will be the evidence of the prosecution in the case that she pretended to be asleep to deter him and it is alleged that he penetrated her with his finger.  The court heard that the woman had made a complaint about the alleged incident later the same night.

Judge Zaidan was surprised that this came before him as a charge of sexual assault rather a rape. He was of the view that the charge of rape could include digital penetration and as such should be tried in the Central Criminal Court.  The prosecuting detective said he understood that it was sexual assault.

The judge said that he was not comfortable proceeding to accept the charge. After some discussion, the Judge adjourned the case for two weeks to allow the Gardai consult with the DPP on the matter.

He said he would consider whether to hear the case at the next hearing or to refuse jurisdiction, thus forcing it up to a higher court.