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Crime

Youth worker accused of rape of transgender teen he met through a children’s home

Lily Wakefield December 16, 2019
UK's only youth gender clinic stops referring trans kids for puberty blockers

(Anatoliy Cherkasov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

A 50-year-old youth worker in Northern Ireland has been accused of the rape of a vulnerable 14-year-old trans teenager he met in a children’s home.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the man from Londonderry has been accused of rape, sexual activity with a child by a person of trust, and meeting a child following sexual grooming in August this year.

He also faces historical charges of sexually molesting his own son between 2000 and 2003, and cannot be named for legal reasons.

While the man denies all charges relating to his son, he has made limited admissions about his relationship with the 14-year-old, referred to as XY, who is currently in foster care and identifies as male.

The High Court heard that the man met the teenager while he was working at a children’s home, and later allegedly arranged to meet him at a high street store before taking him back to his house.

The prosecution said that XY described being kissed by the youth worker on the sofa, before he was raped in the man’s bedroom.

“The child is particularly vulnerable given their status as transitioning, and there are significant concerns this applicant has abused those vulnerabilities,” the prosecution counsel said.

They added that the youth worker’s colleagues “noted he treated the child different from others in the facility, in what appeared to be a buddy relationship”.

The accused’s phone was examined during investigations, and internet searches were found for information on laws relating to sexual activity with a child. He also allegedly sent a message to XY which read: “It wasn’t your fault, I’m the adult and I’m still your friend.”

The defendant requested temporary bail so he could spend time with his family over Christmas. The prosecution opposed the application for bail and said that the man was “neither willing nor able to control his urges”.

The barrister added: “He is alleged to have committed particularly traumatising and heinous offences against a child in his care, a child he knew to be particularly vulnerable.”

Defending barrister Stephen Mooney said that he accepted his client would be facing prison time, and said: “He is seeking release for a finite period of time to spend what presumably will be his last Christmas with his family for a significant period of time.”

The defendant was granted three days temporary release, on the condition that he will not be around anyone under the age of 16 and does not use the internet.

This year, trans actress Indya Moore, who is best known for her role in Ryan Murphy’s hit TV show Pose, opened up about the rape and sexual abuse she endured as a teenager in foster care. 

More: court, Crime, foster care, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, sexual abuse, trans kids, youth worker

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