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Man appears in court accused of sexually assaulting schoolgirl





A man appeared in court today accused of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl in Belfast.

The 32-year-old faces two charges of touching the alleged victim without her consent.

He cannot be named to ensure the girl's identity is protected.

A judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court imposed reporting restrictions after being told the alleged victim is aged 13 and related to the accused's wife.

During preliminary enquiry proceedings it was set out that both alleged offences occurred at a location in the city in September 2011.

The man declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage in the case.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted a prosecution application to have him returned for Crown Court trial.

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Imposing the reporting restrictions, she said: "In the circumstances the defendant's name will be withheld in order to protect the identity of the injured party."

The accused was released on bail until that hearing gets underway.

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