The case was before Naas court last week
The question of different degrees of sexual assault as set out in the legislation was noted by District Judge Desmond Zaidan at Naas District Court on January 10.
The judge was commenting in the case of a Kildare man who is charged with alleged sexual assault.
The State is alleging that on dates between March and May 2015, the man, who is in his forties, sexually assaulted a 12-year-old child.
The court was told that the Book of Evidence has been presented to the man and his legal team.
Garda Sgt Brian Jacob said that the Director of Public Prosecution had opted for the case to go forward to the next sitting of Naas Circuit Court, starting on March 5.
Judge Zaidan asked about the nature of the allegations. He was told that they included the defendant forcing the girl to masturbate him on a couch, putting his hand on her vagina and putting his fingers in her vagina.
The judge said that the case could have been sent to the Central Criminal Court on more than one charge, where penetration is alleged.
He said that was the reason why the rape legislation was amended.
For legal reasons there are reporting restrictions on the case. Tony Hanahoe, solicitor, asked for free legal aid (one junior counsel and one senior counsel).
Judge Zaidan said the case was a serious Section 2 sexual assault, not a more aggravated charge. It is going to the Circuit Court, not the Central Criminal Court and he granted just a junior counsel but said Mr Hanahoe could apply to the Circuit judge for a senior counsel.