School aide faces 10 counts of indecent assault on minors
A man accused of sexually abusing seven girls while working as a special support aide at a government primary school has been granted permission by the court to travel to Jamaica to apply for a student visa.
The 19-year-old Bodden Town man was charged on June 25 with 10 counts of indecent assault on females, all minors, police said. The Cayman Compass is not naming the man or the school in order to protect the children involved from potential identification.
The man appeared before Magistrate Grace Donalds on July 7 and again on July 9, when he was given permission to travel to Kingston, Jamaica, from July 13 to July 15 to apply for a student visa. The court set a $1,500 cash bond to ensure his return, and he will have to surrender his passport when he returns.
Crown counsel “strongly opposed” the man’s application to travel while he faces the charges. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 6.
Police spokeswoman Jacqueline Carpenter told the Compass, “We raised our concerns to the court regarding his bail and travel. However, the court has jurisdiction in this decision and we abide by its decisions.”
In a statement released Friday, the Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services said it first received reports of sexual abuse on students on Monday, Nov. 27, 2014. Police said they received the complaint the next day.
Responding to questions this week, officials with the ministry and the department said the man resigned on Dec. 1, one week after the school received the first complaint.
The ministry and the Department of Education Services said in last week’s statement that the man resigned before he could be put on required leave.
Ms. Carpenter said police “conducted an investigation which included interviews with several juveniles and the gathering of necessary evidence.” She said police arrested the suspect on Dec. 17, 2014.
“After his arrest, investigators worked closely on this complex case with the Legal Department to bring about the charges that were filed on 25 June,” she said, confirming that the man had been out on bail since the day of his initial arrest.
The ministry said in a statement that the man had a clean police record and good references when he was hired to work in the primary school. He worked at the school for two months, from Sept. 30, 2014 until he resigned on Dec. 1, according to the Department of Education Services.