Brave Irish abuse survivor waives anonymity to speak out about her father’s crimes
"I told the one person who was supposed to protect me."
Warning: this report contains details of sexual abuse and incest that may be distressing for some readers.
An abuse survivor has waived her right to anonymity after her father was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the rape, assault, and blackmail of her.
David Masterson pleaded guilty to six counts of rape, sexual assault and incest among 30 offences today in the Central Criminal Court.
The crimes against his daughter, Charlene Masterson, were carried out between March 2007 and June 2014. Charlene, now 31-years-old, has waived her right to anonymity to encourage other survivors of abuse to speak out.
RTÉ News reports that Mr Masterson, originally from Tallaght, began blackmailing Charlene after she turned 18.
The 55-year-old sent his daughter anonymous messages telling her to engage in sexual acts with men. She was threatened that apparent conversations she had been having with boys online would be sent to her father's place of work and that he would lose his job if she did not comply.
Charlene told the court that when she approached her father about this, he told her to do what the person said.
Charlene Masterson waived her anonymity to tell other survivors of sexual abuse that they can go on to lead fulfilled lives. Her father was jailed today for 17 years after blackmailing her before raping and sexually abusing her for more than seven years | https://t.co/bwpyrbRMsj pic.twitter.com/EJ6922Qy53
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 22, 2021
Over the course of three years, Charlene was blindfolded while a "man" was let into her house to sexually abuse her. After this time, she said she discovered that this man was her father.
The assaults continued for another four years, with other men sometimes being given access to the house too.
Mr Masterson moved out of the home after his daughter reported the abuse. He is currently serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for the defilement of three underage girls and the possession and distribution of child abuse imagery.
He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the abuse and blackmail of his daughter, with the final year suspended to allow for the assessment of a treatment programme.
Charlene said that she waived her right to anonymity to encourage other abuse survivors to report their experience.
"It's very easy for someone to say, well why didn't you tell someone? I did, I told the one person who was supposed to protect me.
"I'm very determined to not let this destroy the rest of my life, I've had some great years the past few years [...] It doesn't have to define you, I'm determined this will not define me."