Girl tells court of three-year rape ordeal

A 16-year-old Roscommon schoolgirl has told a Central Criminal Court jury that her father sexually assaulted and raped her over a three year period.

Her 68-year-old father has pleaded not guilty to 80 counts of rape, oral rape and sexual assault on dates between 2003 and 2006.

The alleged victim gave evidence by video link and told prosecuting counsel, Isobel Kennedy SC (with Patrick McGrath BL ), that one of the first assaults occurred in the living room of the family home when she was around nine years old.

The girl said her brother was watching television in a chair facing away from the sofa where she was sitting with her father. She said her father touched her intimately. She didn't say anything and he stopped when someone called to the house.

She told Ms Kennedy that this type of thing happened "once or twice a week" and later "turned into a daily thing".

The jury heard that between January and September 2006 the accused would tell the girl to leave the bathroom door open while she was showering. He would enter the room and touch her saying that he was washing her. She said this occurred on more than five occasions but less than ten.

She said that following the shower he would go into her bedroom, take the towel from her and touch her. She said he asked her to have sex with him and then raped her.

On an occasion when she wanted to go to a disco she said her father told her that if he got what he wanted, she would get what she wanted. She understood that to mean sex.

The assaults ended in September 2006 after the complainant's mother found a letter in the girl's bedroom written by the girl which detailed what had been happening.

Under cross examination by Martin Giblin SC (with Garret Baker BL ), defending, the girl agreed that her father could be strict with her and that she had been a "lively" girl who sometimes got into trouble. She agreed that she had been caught skipping school and smoking and was told that she would be sent to boarding school if she continued to get into trouble.

She told Mr Giblin that the rapes occurred on an almost daily basis and that her father did not use protection.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Peter Charleton and a jury of eight men and four women.

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