Laois man guilty of raping step-daughter

A Laois man who raped and sexually assaulted his step-daughter over an eight year period is to be sentenced next week.

A Laois man who raped and sexually assaulted his step-daughter over an eight year period is to be sentenced next week.

The 42-year-old man was found guilty by a jury after a seven day trial in July of three counts of sexually assaulting the girl on dates between August 2001 and August 2007 at different locations in Co Laois.

He was also found guilty of 34 counts of having sexual intercourse with the girl without her consent.

The offences covered dates between August 2005 to November 2009 and occurred at different locations in the county.

Justice Garrett Sheehan remanded the man in custody and adjourned sentencing until this Tuesday (October 21) at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

A local sergeant told prosecuting council Conor Devally, SC, that in November 2009 gardaí were called to the home address where an argument between the man and his step-daughter was taking place.

In the course of the argument, the victim, who was 18 at the time, told gardaí she had been raped and subjected to sexual assault over an eight year period by her step-father.

She said that he started to sexually assault her when she was between 10 and 13 years of age and told her “this is what is going to happen,” before making her give him oral sex.

He later brought her to a wooded area in the county and to a lane way where he raped and sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions.

She told gardaí she recalled a threat from him that if she told anyone he would kill her and harm her siblings.

The sexual assaults and rapes continued until August 2009 when her mother realised something was happening.

The man continued to sexually assault and rape the girl for a further three months before gardaí were called to the house.

“It was persistent, frequent and unrelenting activity,” Mr Devally told the court.

“He groomed her in a controlled fashion with threats of violence. He would text her to come to him from wherever she was in the house and over time she complied with him.”

“He controlled her social life and went through her phone at times,” he added.

Defence counsel John Peart SC said the man lost his parents at a young age and had learning difficulties in school.

In a Victim Impact Statement, the victim said she “panics” at night but this has lessened since she reported the crime to gardai.

She said that her step-father never allowed her to spend time alone with friends and she tried to cut her wrists in the hope that the abuse would stop.

“When I did report it, I went to counselling but I didn’t like it,’ she said in her report, ‘But I will go again to help me.”