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Sports coach goes on trial for rape and indecent assault of teenage girl

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A sports coach has gone on trial accused of the rape and indecent assault of a teenage girl in a Leinster school 35 years ago.

The 78-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of rape and 15 counts of indecent assault in the school on dates between October 1989 and October 1990. The complainant was between 13 and 14 years old at the time.

Patricia McLaughlin SC told the jury in opening the case for the State that the girl was attending her local secondary school and the accused was a coach there.

Ms McLaughlin said the jury would hear evidence that the man first sexually assaulted the teenager by bringing her into a smaller room and touching her breasts under the pretext of taking her measurements.

The lawyer said the woman alleged the accused continued to touch her in this manner on a regular basis and it escalated to him touching her vagina under her clothing and digitally penetrating her.

Counsel said the woman claimed the abuse ended in June when the girl was off school for the summer holidays and she did not see the accused.

She said when the girl returned to school the following September the accused again brought her into the same room and raped her.

Ms McLaughlin said the woman reported the man to gardaí in 2021 and the case was investigated. The man was interviewed and denied all the allegations that were put to him.

The trial, which is expected to last a week, continues before Ms Justice Melanie Greally and a jury.

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