Man sexually assaulted woman while in work
INCIDENTS OCCURED AT VICTIM’S FAMILY BUSINESS
A POLISH national has been found guilty of 13 charges of sexual assault on a County Wexford woman, following a three-day trial before Judge Cormac Quinn at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.
The defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, had a charge of harassment withdrawn from the jury of ten men and two women by the direction of the trial judge.
The trial was told the offences occurred between August 1, 2010, and June 12, 2014 at the victim’s family business where she worked along with the defendant.
The victim told the court that the defendant would regularly touch her breasts and buttocks while at work, which she found embarrassing and uncomfortable. The victim, who worked in the reception area of the family business, would often be on the phone when the defendant groped her.
She also described being at a 21st birthday party at a local pub when the defendant unzipped her dress. She described how the defendant just laughed at the incident.
A number of witnesses told the court that they witnessed the defendant’s inappropriate behaviour at the workplace. One witness told the defendant ‘ that is not the right thing to do’. A second witness told the defendant ‘ he cannot do that’ while a third witness told the court ‘I found it curious what was happening. It was not right’.
Another witness told the trial that the defendant was subsequently dismissed from his employment. The defendant has since claimed that he was unfairly dismissed.
Defence Counsel Philip Sheahan told the court that the victim concocted her evidence to coincide with an appeal which the defendant is making for unfair dismissal. He said part of the unfair dismissal case has been heard before the Workplace Relations Commission and there have been findings in the defendant’s favour, but other matters are still in the process.
Prosecuting Counsel Ms Sinead Gleeson, told the jury the victim was regularly sexually assaulted by the defendant. She said the case was somewhat unique in that there had been independent witnesses, all of whom saw what was happening where she worked.
Following deliberations of three hours, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all charges.
Judge Quinn adjourned sentencing to this Thursday, following an application from Mr Sheahan.