Man admits defilement, denies rape

Suspended sentence takes into account eight months in custody and need for counselling, judge says

A man who pleaded guilty to defilement of a girl, 13, but not guilty to raping her was dealt with last week under the Alternative Sentencing Law. 

Justice Charles Quin imposed a prison term of two years for defilement “to reflect the seriousness of the offence” but suspended the sentence for two years and placed the man under supervision for that period. 

The defendant, who was 30 at the time of his offence, must attend any psychiatric, medical or counselling sessions recommended by his probation officer.  

The defendant is not named in this report because Cayman’s Criminal Procedure Code prohibits publication of any matter likely to lead members of the public to identify the victim when rape is alleged. 

Crown Counsel Kenneth Ferguson said during an earlier sentencing hearing that the man’s pleas had not been acceptable to the Crown and the rape charge was set for trial. However, the victim refused to testify and so the plea to defilement was accepted. The rape charge was left on file. 

At the time of the offence, Mr. Ferguson summarised, the man was residing with his wife and two children in a house shared with the victim and her family. The girl’s mother had decided to share the residence because the man had fallen on hard times. 

On the night of the incident, the girl’s parents went to a party. She and a sibling were left in the care of the defendant. While she was seated at a computer, he began to massage her shoulders. She shrugged him off and told him to stop. 

Then he tried to put his hand between her legs. Again she told him to stop, but he persisted and she fought off his advances. Then the other child, who was in another room, called out to the defendant and he went to check. 

The girl sought refuge in her bedroom, locked the door and hid under the bed, but the man pried the door open. He found the girl and pushed her into a closet, where he forced himself on her. He had sex with her and left the room. 

Mr. Ferguson said the matter came to light the next day when the girl told her best friend what had happened. The friend told an adult, who notified police. 

When confronted, the man said, “I didn’t mean to do it, but I did … I couldn’t help myself. I know I did wrong …”  

In an interview with police, he said he did not force the girl. He said he was drunk and could not remember all the details of the incident. He admitted knowing the girl was 13. 

Mr. Ferguson pointed out that the maximum sentence for defilement is 12 years imprisonment, with a basic tariff of five years. In this case, the man was in a position of trust and the relationship was such that the girl called him uncle. 

Defence attorney John Furniss and Mr. Ferguson both referred to a social inquiry report and a psychiatric report prepared on the defendant, with the latter describing him as a man with significant psychological problems. 

He was said to have had a difficult start in life and had developed an alcohol problem. One of the reports proposed addressing his mental health and substance abuse issues through strategic intervention. 

Returning the man to prison would not assist the situation, Mr. Furniss submitted, suggesting that the man could be supervised in the community and get the help he needed. He had spent eight months in custody before being bailed when the trial did not go ahead the first time. He had no previous convictions and did have a good work record. 

Nobody went into great detail, but Justice Quin described the defendant’s upbringing as difficult, troublesome and disturbing, as indicated in the reports. He was frequently shuttled to different foster homes, with intermittent periods with his mother. He received minimal love and virtually no security from either parent, one result being the significant medical and emotional difficulties he now suffered. 

Justice Quin also noted comments from the victim’s mother, who said that the girl “has not been the same since the incident and, in fact, the incident has caused emotional and psychological trauma to the victim and the whole family”. 

The judge said the offence was serious and no one could underestimate the psychological damage and emotional trauma the young girl and her family have suffered.  

He said he had taken everything into account, including the victim impact report. “What is of utmost importance is that the court must endeavour to create the circumstances to try to ensure that the defendant does not ever commit, or even contemplates committing, any such offence again,” he emphasised. 

For all these reasons, he imposed the suspended sentence supervision order. 

CI Court flag

The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town. – Photo: File
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12 COMMENTS

  1. Given the disparity in age, the position of trust he held, the trauma the victim is experiencing and the maximum sentence for this offence this seems like an extraordinarily light sentence even if, as the perpetrator alleges, it was consensual.

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  2. Okay, so far in the last 3 years I have heard some really good excuses for rapes. And it seems the men get away with rapes using these excuses. So far I have heard.

    1. I didn’t rape her, I took it.
    2. I was drunk and don’t remember.
    3. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t control myself.

    Number 1 by far is the best I have heard so far.

    And both men, who used these excuses did little to no jail time.

    First off, no is no. rape is rape. You didn’t take it, you raped her. You were drunk and you remembered. And even if you do not remember. It’s still your fault. Be a responsible drinker. And who drinks around little kids anyways?! And if you knew it was wrong, and could not control yourself. Then you sir, are an animal. And should be taken out back and shot in the back of the head. You see, this is what separates humans from animals. The ability to control ones basic needs.

    70 plus rapes happen a year on this island. Not including, defilement and other charges of that nature. We are stretching into the triple digits. Every year.

    Incarcerate them for the longest time possible. That is the only deterrent I can see. No matter what the circumstances are.

    There doesn’t need to be a mental examination. Anyone that would do rape is obviously sick. All a mental examination does, is justify why the person is going to get a lesser sentence. Someone can get caught with a bullet and not a gun, and receive 5 years in jail. But they can rape a kid, and get 2 years probation. Something is very wrong with that.

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  3. Judge, What is of utmost importance is that the court must endeavour to create the circumstances to try to ensure that the defendant does not ever commit, or even contemplates committing, any such offence again, he emphasised.

    Adults must take responsibility for their actions regardless of how difficult their childhood may have been. A judge is to see that justice prevails not only for the victim but also for civil society. When a person commits a serious crime they should pay the consequences of that crime- that is justice.

    The perpetrator can receive ‘mental health care’ in prison. The scale of justice in this case is way out of balance.

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  4. he’s in his 30’s
    she 13
    she told him no
    she locked a door and hid
    he forcibly opened the door
    forced him self on her

    why is he not getting the 12 years minimum?

    maybe the judge should get him to babysit their kids then see how they feel about it…

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  5. Oh my goodness. What is happening to this beautiful,peaceful, wonderful carribean island?
    Wasn’t Grand Cayman always protective of their own people? Especially the children?
    Why not simply remove this type of individual from the island? Send them packing…Banish them, per-say. Who cares where they go… Let them find another island to call home and save Cayman government money from being wasted on time in court, lawyers, a trial, mental evaluations, etc. He admitted to rape of a minor…he deserves life in prison but it would be much cheaper to buy him a plane ticket and get rid of scum like this.

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  6. I can only agree wholeheartedly with the previous contributions and would think the crown council would be appealing this sentencing.
    It sends the wrong message to the public in general.
    There seems to be a separation between good and bad girls/women and men’s excuses seem to be validated and both is wrong.
    Please lets join the 20th century here in terms of sexual assault, rape and abuse.

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  7. Too bad it wasn’t the judge’s granddaughter — bet the penalty would have been the maximum. The crown needs to appeal this immediately — I cannot believe the sentence for a crime so blatantly obvious — he admitted it! This girl is scarred for life. Not only is she not safe in her own home, but in her own room, under her bed, with a locked door. How terrifying for this poor little girl.

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