herald

Monday 23 January 2017

Child sex warning about garda who 'raped woman' was not passed on to HSE

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Gardai failed to inform the HSE about a potential threat posed to young children by a serving garda after an alleged rape victim made a complaint three years ago.

The officer is now under investigation for child sex offences against an 11-year-old girl.

A mother who claims she was raped by the garda has told the Herald that, during her alleged ordeal, he admitted having child sex fantasies.

The woman contacted a senior garda immediately after the incident in August 2013 and raised concerns for the safety of named children.

Several days later she repeated those concerns when she reported her rape allegations to a second senior officer.

However, in a letter from the office of Tanaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald sent to the woman last August, a senior civil servant acknow- ledged that this information was not passed on to HSE's child and family services.

Further, the letter confirms that the district officer in the division "failed to retain in writing a record of the decision and the justification for not initially reporting the alleged child protection issues in compliance with the HQ directive".

It has emerged that a new investigation has been launched into the same officer by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) over fresh allegations that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl.

Accuser

It is understood that this latest complaint relates to an incident that took place in the past few weeks.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the original accuser said she had known the garda for seven years before her alleged attack, through her work with an agency.

She said she arranged to meet him in a car park after he contacted her claiming to have "important information" in August 2013.

However, she claims that when she went to meet him, he held her down and raped her in his car. The woman claims that the garda described child fantasies during the alleged attack.

"I said to myself, 'If you get out of this car, what he is telling you is that there is a child in danger and you have to be able to tell stories'," she said.

"He said, 'What if I told you I was into young girls?'. He said 18 and he kept going down to 12. I said, 'Please, I don't want to hear any more'."

The woman said the man mentioned an under-age girl who he claimed to have sexually assaulted. Following the alleged incident, the woman claims she contacted a senior garda officer, who was based in the same district as her alleged attacker, by text message.

Complaint

She attended a sexual assault unit and the following week spoke with a second senior garda and made a complaint about the attack.

The woman claims that at that meeting, and in the initial text message, she raised concerns about child welfare.

While she claims she made an oral report at the time, it is understood that no written formal complaint was recorded.

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