Dublin dad who sexually abused daughter over seven-and-a-half-years after first blackmailing her jailed for 17 years
- 20:52, 22 Jul 2021
- Updated: 20:52, 22 Jul 2021
A FATHER who sexually abused his daughter over a seven-and-a-half-year period after first blackmailing her has been jailed for 17 years.
David Masterson, 56, sent anonymous text messages to his daughter demanding that she engage in sexual acts with men.
When the victim showed the messages to her father he told her that she would have to do these things because his job was at risk.
The Central Criminal Court heard Masterson went on to defile three girls, having sexual encounters with two teenage girls and entering into a sexual relationship with a third, who lived with him for a period of time.
The court heard this occurred after his daughter reported the seven years of sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father to her mother in 2014 and he left the family home.
Masterson was already serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise for the defilement offences.
He has 17 previous convictions, including the defilement of a child and possession and distribution of child pornography.
Masterson, formerly of Tallaght in west Dublin, pleaded guilty to six offences relating to his daughter between 2007 and 2014, including oral rape, sexual assault and incest.
A further 25 counts, including 14 counts of incest and one count of possessing child pornography, were taken into account.
The court heard that Charlene Masterson, 32, wished to waive her right to anonymity.
Mr Justice Michael White said today there had been a “fundamental breach of trust” between a father and his only daughter.
He said Masterson had subjected her to degradation by his actions, and has “limited insight into his crimes”.
Justice White sentenced Masterson to 18 years in prison for each of the four counts of oral rape, suspending the final year and ordering one year of post-release supervision.
He also sentenced Masterson to five years imprisonment for two offences of sexual assault, running concurrently with his other sentences for an effective operative sentence of 18 years imprisonment with the final year suspended.
Justice White backdated the sentences to the day Masterson went into custody on June 26, 2019.
Outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin today, Ms Masterson said she was moving past the ordeal her father inflicted on her.
She said: “No sentence will ever probably be enough but I do feel that the judge understood the control and the repercussions that occurred over the seven-and-a-half years.
“I haven’t gone off the rails. It did destroy my life at one point but I’m determined it won’t determine the rest of my life. I’m not going to let it cling to the rest of my life. It’s done.”
She added: “I hope I’m an example to anyone else that they can get to the other side of it. I know it’s a very, very dark tunnel at times but there is light at the end of it.”
Ms Masterson said she discovered after her father left the family home that he was tracking her phone.
‘I WAS BROKEN’
She told RTE News: “It’s very easy for someone outside of the situation to say, ‘Well, why didn’t you just tell someone?’. I did. I told the one man who was supposed to protect me and he didn’t.
“I discovered after he had left the family home that he had my phone tracked, so he could see all my messages, all my correspondence with friends, with everybody.
“I was broken (when I found out it was my father who had abused me) but he was like, ‘Well, it’s done now’.
“That was always the answer, ‘It’s done now. That’s it, it’s over with’. And that question remained for the last seven years, ‘Is this time the last time? Is it really the last time now, I’ve done what they wanted’. It was never enough.”
She continued: “I’m very determined to not let it destroy the rest of my life, I’m very determined to enjoy my life, and I have. I’ve had some great times the last few years.
“I’ve had some bad days, don’t get me wrong . . . But it doesn’t have to define you, and I’m determined that this won’t define me. You can have an absolutely fulfilled life, a happy life. Don’t let one person ruin it for you.”
ANONYMOUS TEXT MESSAGES
The court previously heard that the abuse began when Charlene was 18 years old in 2007.
She started receiving anonymous text messages, which later transpired to have been sent by her father.
The messages began demanding that she do sexual things with men while threatening to send information to her father’s work regarding her previously talking to boys on an online chat room for teenagers.
When she told her father about what was happening, Masterson said she would have to do these things because his job was at risk.
It was arranged that her father would let a person into their home and she would do whatever this person wanted while wearing a blindfold and earphones playing music.
Masterson then came into the bedroom where she was blindfolded and began forcing her to give him oral sex and sexually assaulted her.
These incidents continued to occur before escalating to her having to engage sexually with two men while blindfolded.
She believed she had no choice and that she was doing this to save her father’s job.
Ms Masterson did not realise her father was behind everything until, at the age of 21, she found a DVD recording of the first time she was sexually abused by her father.
The abuse continued after she confronted her father about this and he claimed he was being blackmailed.
Over seven-and-a-half years she was forced to have sex with her father and other men on numerous occasions, the court heard.
The court heard he also physically assaulted her and threatened to kill her on several occasions.
The abuse came to an end in June 2014 when she told a teacher what had happened and then informed her mother.
Her mother had been “completely unaware” of what had been going on as it always took place while she was out of the house.
In interview with gardai, Masterson admitted his daughter’s version of events were “100 per cent” true. He accepted she had not done these things willingly, but because she thought his job was under threat.
Masterson accepted that there were other men involved, but only told gardai one of their names and claimed that it was the only name he knew.
He said this man had known that the victim was his daughter.
Masterson pleaded guilty to the oral rape and sexual assault of his daughter at the family home in Dublin on dates between April 1, 2007 and May 31, 2007.