A Department store in Dublin has become the center of a scandal after five men were independently charged for engaging in public sex acts.
According to the Irish Examiner, the Marks & Spencer on Mary Street in Dublin, Ireland has become known by a small section of the surrounding gay community as a cruising spot. But, the continuing activity there has also gained the attention of the business’ staff and the local police.
One of the accused men, a 32-year-old Brazilian-national living in Ireland on a visa, recently appeared at the Dublin District Court to plead guilty to public masturbation on June 14. An officer with the Garda Siochana, the national police, named James Smith told the court that he and another member in plain clothes witnessed the 32-year-old masturbating in the toilet.
The 32-year-old’s lawyer, Paddy McGarry, argued that his client did not go to the store to engage in sex. That said, the accused did end up in the bathroom and admitted to trying to communicate with another man while inside. McGarry then argued that similar cases, such as ones in more public locations, have more aggravating factors. McGarry continued that this case was not on the same level and involved consenting adults.
“What about the public shopping in Marks & Spencer and they go to the bathroom, and they are confronted with this?” Judge Bryan Smyth responded.
The defense then pleaded with the judge, saying that a conviction could affect the 32-year-old’s employment and visa. The defense then brought €500 to court, hoping that the case would be struck out without a conviction. The judge, however, only decided to give bail pending sentencing in September.
The court case is the fifth in the last two weeks. Four other men have been accused of lewd behavior within the store’s bathroom. One pleaded guilty to masturbating and engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature. He was caught by another undercover garda operative on June 16. In his case, he grabbed the undercover officer’s butt while exposing himself. His defense then argued that he “read the signals wrong.” The other three were granted bail to appear in September to enter pleas. All of whom were also accused of masturbating in the same toilet area.
Source: The Irish Examiner,