Voice semi-finalist told to pay €2,000 over sex assault on dancefloor
A former boyband member and semi-finalist on The Voice of Ireland who sexually assaulted a colleague on a night out has been told he can avoid a criminal record.
Alan Fitzsimons (40), was a senior product manager at Eir, formerly Eircom, when he groped the man on the dance floor at a company event.
Judge Bryan Smyth told him he will leave him without a conviction if he co-operates with the probation service for the next year.
He must also pay €2,000 to charity.
Judge Smyth gave him six months to pay this after hearing that his past music career "wasn't that successful".
Fitzsimons was a semi- finalist on RTE's The Voice in 2012. He was also a member of chart-topping Irish boyband, OTT, who had three top 10 singles in the 1990s.
Garda Kevin Lawless told Dublin District Court the assault happened in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on September 16, 2015.
There was a free bar at the event, which was attended by some 200 Eir staff. The defendant took the victim's arm in an invitation to dance.
Gda Lawless said Fitzsimons then groped the victim's genitals and leaned in for a kiss, which the victim avoided.
The defendant and the victim were unknown to each other, but had mutual friends and colleagues.
Fitzsimons, of Holywell Meadows, Feltrim Road, Swords, had lost his job at Eir.
The case was heard previously and was back before the court for the production of a probation report.
This recommended a 12-month adjournment for continued co-operation with the service.
Defence solicitor Pat McGonagle said Fitzsimons was anxious to continue to engage with the probation service.
"The victim, when he read out his victim impact statement was very clear as to how it affected him in all aspects of his life," the judge said.
He added that the amount Fitzsimons had to drink did not excuse what happened.
He said the accused should also pay €2,000 to charity.
"I know in a previous life he had a successful career, I don't know if he's in receipt of royalties or anything like that," the judge said.
"It wasn't that successful," Mr McGonagle replied.
Judge Smyth gave him six months to pay the money to the Rape Crisis Centre.
He said if everything is in order on the next court date, he would leave the accused without a conviction.
Fitzsimons, wearing a navy blazer, white shirt and blue jeans said: "Thank you, your honour."
At the original hearing, Fitzsimons said he had "no clear memory of the incident due to the alcohol he had taken", so was unable to challenge the victim's version of events.
In a statement, a witness described the sexual assault as occurring "within a split second".
During a victim impact statement the court was told that the injured party "was not on alert" and believed himself "to be in a safe environment" on the night.