herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Waiter faces grope charge over girl (15)

A WAITER has been accused of a sex attack on a 15-year-old customer, allegedly groping her and trying to kiss her in a restaurant.

Durga Bohara (37) is alleged to have carried out an assault on the "distressed" girl when her mother and grandmother stepped out of the restaurant for a few minutes, leaving her at the table.

Bohara, with an address at Alverno Park, Willow Park, Athlone, Co Westmeath, is charged with sexual assault on the girl at Bumbai restaurant, Riverfront Shopping Centre, Leixlip on July 8, 2011.

Outlining the allegations, Sergeant Maria Callaghan said the girl, her mother and grandmother were the only people in the restaurant at the time.

"The defendant was the waiter dealing with them in the restaurant," Sgt Callaghan said. "It's alleged that after they had their starters, the injured party's mother and grandmother went out to have a smoke and the alleged injured party remained in the restaurant.

"It is alleged that at the time, she was approached by Mr Bohara and was asked a number of questions. It is alleged he grabbed her by her two arms, shook her, commented on her body and felt her face. It is alleged he squeezed her cheeks, attempted to kiss her and put his hand on her breast.

"The alleged injured party left the restaurant in a distressed state and went to her mother and grandmother outside."

The incident was reported to Leixlip Garda Station.

Judge Anthony Halpin remarked that it was a "very nasty" alleged incident, but he felt it fell within the jurisdiction of the district court.

He accepted jurisdiction to deal with the case, which means it will not be sent forward for trial by judge and jury to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where the potential penalties on conviction are greater.

Bohara, a foreign national, has yet to enter a plea to the charge. The case was adjourned to a date in March. Bohara was remanded on continuing bail.

aphelan@herald.ie

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