Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Tom Tuite

A German man, who denies sexually assaulting two young girls shopping in Dublin’s Ikea furniture superstore with their families, will face trial next February.

Christian Mayer (47), with an address at Johannes Strasse in Nuremberg, was extradited in January to be charged but had been granted bail at Dublin District Court.

The IT professional was accused of sexual assault on a girl on a date in August 2019 and sexually assaulting another young girl five days later at Ikea on St Margaret’s Road, Dublin 11. They were aged 13 and 10.

Mr Mayer, who previously lived at Shanowen Road, Santry, Dublin, also faces two counts under section 45 of the 2017 Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act. These charges are for engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature.

Following an adjournment, he appeared again at Dublin District Court via video link from Germany. His barrister John Griffin said there was a not guilty plea.

Judge John Hughes set aside a day in February 2023 to hear the fully contested non-jury trial.

Outlining the allegations, Garda Stephen Donnelly had said the mother of the 13-year-old contacted garda to report that “her daughter had been sexually assaulted by a man that had grabbed and squeezed her breast area”.

The second girl was allegedly touched in her breast area five days later.

“Both kids were in the Ikea store with their parents shopping at the time,” Garda Donnelly said.

The court heard the alleged touching was on the outside of their clothing.

Return visit

A security officer alerted gardaí after the accused purportedly returned to the shop on November 16th, 2019.

He was arrested and detained for questioning that day.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed summary disposal in the District Court, which accepted jurisdiction. Mr Mayer confirmed during his video-link appearance that he did not want his case heard by a jury in the Circuit Court.

Previously, counsel had said there was substantial disclosure of prosecution evidence. A hearing in January was told the accused had lived in Dublin for several years and worked in a city-centre firm.

The court set bail at €15,000.

He was also required to surrender his passport and not apply for any travel documentation to enable him to leave the EU. He provided gardaí with a phone number and must remain contactable.

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