Cavan man jailed for sex assault and defilement of teenage boy
A Cavan man has been jailed for the sexual assault and defilement of a 14 year old boy he met online.
40 year old Michael Galligan from Springfield in Cavan town was sentenced to five years in prison.
Michael Galligan, who’s on the sex offenders register, has four previous convictions – including one for sexual assault and one for a breach of the sex offenders act.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of defilement of a child under the age of 15 years old and two counts of sexual assault of the boy on dates in 2015.
The court heard the child had gone onto a particular website and indicated he was 18 years old.
In Garda evidence the Court was told that Galligan and the boy met on three dates during 2015 when the offences occurred – the boy had been wearing his school uniform on the second occasion they met.
The boy’s family became aware of mobile phone contact and alerted Gardaí.
Michael Galligan was interviewed by Gardaí and ultimately made admissions in relation to the charges.
The court heard the boy did not wish to make a victim impact statement and was endeavoring to move on with his life.
Defence Counsel told the Court that the boy had made first contact.
He said this was not a case where Mr Galligan had gone out looking for an under-age child but accepted that once he met the child he knew he was under-age.
He said Galligan accepted what he had done was wrong and that he should have walked away from the situation.
Counsel said that Mr Galligan had begun to engage with psychiatric services in prison to deal with his problems and difficulties and handed in a report outlining his personal history and difficulties coming to terms with his own sexuality.
Judge Martin Nolan said Michael Galligan should have known the age of the boy after the first meeting.
He said part of the law was to “protect 14-year olds from themselves” and said Galligan knew what he was doing was seriously wrong.
Judge Nolan imposed a seven year sentence and suspended the final two years on strict conditions.