Donegal ‘pillar of local community’ fined for sexual assault

A 74-year-old man described as a pillar of his local community has been fined €1,000 after admitting that he sexually assaulted a middle-aged woman.
Although he put both arms around the woman’s upper torso and pushed his genital area into her side a decision on entering his name on the sex offenders register was deferred.
Judge Kevin Kilrane ruled the retired man could not be identified.
He acknowledged there was no relationship with the victim but there was a prospect of identifying her if the defendant’s name was published because of where the attack happened.
The woman told the court she was still off work because of the attack on January 5th.
Investigating officer Det. Gda Alison Moore told Donegal District Court that the woman was preparing food in the kitchen area of a health unit when the 74-year-old, a regular visitor to patients, suddenly put his arms around her upper torso and kissed her on the side of the face.
As he tried to twist the woman around to place a kiss on her face he pressed the genital part of his body into her side.
Defence solicitor Rory O’Brien described what happened as “a moment of madness.”
When the issue of a sex offenders’ register was mentioned Mr O’Brien submitted it didn’t apply when there was no custodial sentence and the victim was over 17.
Judge Kilrane said the sex offence registry issue could be “re-entered” at a later stage following a Garda check.