Threats made against school aide facing child sex assault charges

A former teacher’s aide accused of indecently assaulting female primary school students has been the target of serious threats online, according to his attorney.

Defense attorney Karin Thompson told Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez on Thursday that the threats to her client and members of his family were the result of published remarks on social media, including Facebook. These published remarks would impact her client’s ability to have a fair trial, she said.

Ms. Thompson emphasized that she was not referring to the local press. “The local media have been responsible,” she said.

The magistrate agreed that what was happening online was a separate issue and one of the “unfortunate aspects of this modern age.”

Ms. Thompson indicated that she was making an application in another court regarding publicity.

The defendant, 19, faces 10 charges of indecent assault on females. The charges relate to seven girls at a government primary school between September and November 2014.

He resigned on Dec. 1.

Ms. Thompson noted she had been told at the defendant’s last court appearance that he should be entering pleas to the charges or else electing whether to be tried in Summary Court or Grand Court. Instead, she was asking the court to order psychiatric and psychological assessments for him because one of her concerns was his fitness to plead and she wanted a clear understanding of his state of mind.

Magistrate Hernandez made the orders for the assessments and asked that they be given priority so that the matter could proceed. She set Sept. 10 for the next mention.

Crown counsel Eleanor Fargin advised that the Crown would object to any application for bail to be varied for the defendant to be allowed to leave the jurisdiction.

The Cayman Compass is not naming the defendant because doing so could lead to the identity of the alleged victims.