herald

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Well-known entertainer charged with sex assault on man at venue

'The case against him was adjourned after Judge John O'Leary banned reporting of his identity at the request of his lawyer.' (stock photo)
'The case against him was adjourned after Judge John O'Leary banned reporting of his identity at the request of his lawyer.' (stock photo)

A well-known entertainer has appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting a young man.

The accused (26) is alleged to have carried out the assault at a popular Dublin venue.

The case against him was adjourned after Judge John O'Leary banned reporting of his identity at the request of his lawyer.

He is accused of one count of sexual assault on a date in December 2016.

When the case was called at Dublin District Court, the public were ordered to leave.

Members of the accused's family, however, were allowed to stay for the hearing.

The accused, dressed in a navy blue suit, white shirt and light blue tie, sat at the back of the courtroom with his family.

When called, he walked forward and sat in the dock.

A garda sergeant told Judge O'Leary that evidence of the accused's arrest, charge and caution had been submitted to the court by certificate.

Michael Staines, defending, said the proceedings would be a "very short matter".

Gda Shane Behan said the directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) were for summary disposal at district court level on a guilty plea only.

This means that if the accused contests the charge, he will be sent for trial by judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Disclosure of prosecution statements had been furnished to the defence, said Gda Behan.

Anonymity

The accused was already on bail from a garda station and there was no objection to this continuing.

Judge O'Leary asked if there was any other application.

Gda Behan said the alleged victim was entitled to anonymity and asked for reporting restrictions prohibiting the publication of anything that might identify the alleged injured party.

Mr Staines asked for "similar" restrictions, to include the name and address of the accused and the location of the alleged offence.

A media representative said it was understood that alleged victims were entitled to anonymity, but asked the court to explain the legal basis for extending this to restrict publication of the accused's name.

Judge O'Leary said there was provision for this in law.

A state solicitor said it was provided for in the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981, providing for the anonymity of complainants.

"The garda is of the view that any of those details could potentially identify the (alleged) injured party," she said.

The judge made the reporting restriction order to cover naming the accused and adjourned the case, remanding him on continuing bail to appear in court again on October 9.

The accused remained silent throughout the brief hearing.

No details of the allegations against him were disclosed in court and he has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

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