Former Franciscan brother jailed for sexual assault of ten-year-old boy

Former Franciscian Brother Christopher McCarthy.

A FORMER Franciscan Brother has been jailed in Limerick for indecent assault and sexual assault of a ten-year-old boy.

Christopher McCarthy (74) of Richmond Court, Mount Kennett, Dock Road, Limerick was jailed for three years with the final nine months suspended by Judge Pat Meghan, who said McCarthy could be identified, provided the victim’s anonymity was maintained.

Reading a victim impact statement, the injured party told McCarthy he wanted him to rot in jail for what he had done to him.

As the victim described how the sexual assaults had changed his life forever, McCarthy cast his eyes upwards, sighed, and shook his head.

A jury had reached unanimous guilty verdicts in McCarthy’s trial on October 6, 2020, after he denied the allegations which dated back 30 years.

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The sentencing hearing was told that McCarthy sought out the boy for his own sexual gratification, groomed him, wore tight shorts while he was in a state of arousal telling the boy it was okay if he felt aroused too.

The jury rejected McCarthy’s denials that he had rubbed his erect penis against the boy’s backside from outside his clothes; and that he masturbated himself as he grabbed the victim’s penis.

A nolle prosequi was entered on a charge that McCarthy had allegedly removed his own trousers and sat with his erect penis next to the boy and invited the boy to remove his pants.

The victim told Gardaí McCarthy made gestures after the assaults “with his fingers to his lips” to mean he should not tell on him.

The victim said the assaults have stayed with him throughout his life and had led him to struggle with his own sexuality.

He eventually told his wife after seeing McCarthy for the first time in 30 years.

McCarthy, who was later living a men’s hostel in Limerick City, was questioned by Gardaí twice in March 2019 when he denied all of the allegations.

Addressing McCarthy in court, the victim said: “I have waited years to say these words to you — Christopher McCarthy, I f**king hate you.”

“I hate what you have done to me, I hate that you have consumed my childhood and most of my adult life. I hate the fact that you sat through four days of your trial without showing any emotion of sadness or remorse for what you put me through.

“I will never forgive you for what you have done and what you have taken from me. To be honest, it’s irrelevant how long you get for this, because it will never replace the years you have taken from me.

“You will never understand how much you have taken from me, you stole my childhood, you robbed me of my innocence, you took advantage of my vulnerability, and worst of all, you made me believe that I would get in trouble for it. How f**king dare you do that to anybody, let alone a child.

“You made me question so much about myself – ‘Did I do something wrong? Did I deserve this? Maybe this is normal’. It took me a long time to realise that it wasn’t my fault, I was innocent in all of this. I was a child and you were the adult.

“ I hope you rot, and with all my heart — Christopher McCarthy, I can finally say its over and f**k you.”

McCarthy, a native of County Cork, told Gardaí he had struggled with his own sexuality, that he was “not gay”, that he had had sexual relationships with women, as well as married men. He claimed he had “never touched children”.

He told Gardaí he had had sexual relationships with men “over the age of 20 but no children. I wouldn’t claim myself as a paedophile against young boys and young girls”.

McCarthy, who continues to deny the allegations, joined the Franciscan Order aged 17 but left it after three years, lived in London for a period, and has suffered from depression and other mental health issues, the court heard.

He received a suspended three month prison sentence on January 7, 2020 after he was found guilty of masturbating in front of an 18-year-old male at Knock Shrine on September 17, 2017, a charge he denied.