July 2023

Kilkenny paedophile (29) who raped girl (13) is jailed for seven and a half years

A 29-year-old Kilkenny man raped a 13-year-old girl just after a 17-year-old boy had sexual intercourse with her

Michael O’Reilly (29) of St Marys Crescent, Hebron Road, Kilkenny city, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape at a place in Dublin on April 11, 2021.

Passing sentence yesterday, Justice Eileen Creedon said that the maximum sentence open to the court is life in prison. She said the DPP has advised a sentence of between 10-15 years. She set a headline sentence of 11 years.

Justice Creedon said that the victim in this case was a child, and the accused was a much older male. She said that the girl “made it known in advance of meeting him that she did not wish to have sex”, but he used his “dominance”.

The judge said the girl, in her victim impact statement, described how she was traumatised to attend court and had self-harmed in the past due to the assault.

Justice Creedon sentenced O’Reilly to nine years in prison, with the final eighteen months suspended for eighteen months.

He must remain under the supervision of the Probation Services for eighteen months and follow all directions as outlined by them. He must also be registered as a sex offender, and his sentence backdated from when he went into custody.

At an earlier sentence hearing, Detective Garda Darragh McNally told Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, that a 17-year-old boy who the victim knew had contacted her on Snapchat and asked her if she could meet up for “feeking”, a “colloquial term for sexual intercourse”.

She agreed to meet for sexual intercourse, but when asked by the boy if she would “engage in feeking” with O’Reilly, she said no and that she wouldn’t have anything to do with that.

She and a female friend went to a petrol station, and O’Reilly arrived in a car with the teenage boy and a third man. The girls got into the car, and the car was driven for about ten minutes to a gated field.

Everyone got out of the car and walked a little way, and the girl and the teenager went behind some bushes and had sexual intercourse. The court heard that “as soon as the other male had finished, the accused man came over and tried to persuade her to engage in sex”.

The court heard she said no, and O’Reilly then went behind her, grabbed her shoulders and forced her down. He took her trousers and underwear off as she struggled and repeatedly asked him to stop.

O’Reilly kept pleading with her to have sex, but she continually refused. He then forced the girl to the ground and raped her.

She was very upset afterwards, the court heard, and her female friend noticed this. The men dropped the two girls back at the petrol station, and they then got on a bus. The victim told her friend what had happened.

She became upset and hysterical, and her friend phoned the other man and began shouting at him and abusing him. A woman on the bus overheard the conversation, approached the girls, and advised them to report what happened to gardaí.

The victim did go to gardaí, and O’Reilly was arrested and questioned. He denied anything to do with the events of the night, and when shown the CCTV footage from the bus of the upset girl, he said, “That’s nothing to do with me” and “It doesn’t make me feel anything ‘cos I didn’t do anything”.

He was re-arrested months later when forensic test results came back matching his DNA to semen taken from the girl’s body during a sexual assault treatment examination. He was charged and, in February last, sent forward for trial.

In a victim impact report, the girl stated that she was a child and “this monster took away my childhood”. She said that after the rape, she left school and turned to drink and tablets to cope.

“My whole life changed. He took a part of me. I’m hurting so bad. I’ll never be myself again,” she wrote. She said she blamed herself at times and felt so dirty “and even dirtier when people found out”.

A charge of engaging in a sexual act with a child, or defilement, was preferred against the teenage boy, but a nolle prosequi was entered on March 16, last, when O’Reilly pleaded to the rape charge.

Mr Foley told the court that despite their training, the two garda specialist interviewers found it very difficult to get the victim to use “specific sexual terms such as vagina, which she eventually uttered” and that she could not bring herself to say the word “penis” at any point in the interview.

O’Reilly has no previous convictions for sexual offending but has convictions for assault, theft and burglary.