Trial in indecent assaults case may wait until 2017

More delays in the case of a teacher’s aide accused of indecently assaulting primary school girls may put off a trial until next year, a magistrate said Wednesday.

A second psychiatric evaluation of the defendant, now 20, was “inconclusive” as to whether or not he would be fit to plead in the case. The defendant, who has been named in public court records, is not being identified by the Cayman Compass to avoid possibly identifying the alleged victims.

An earlier evaluation indicated the defendant was fit to plead to the charges.

The Crown alleges the indecent assault offenses took place at a government primary school in 2014, when the girls were between 6 and 10 years old. Ten separate charges have been filed against the defendant.

The defendant appeared Wednesday, about a year after the case first came to court, and his attorney Karin Thompson noted, “We’re no further along in knowing how to proceed.”

Ms. Thompson said she had received a second evaluation by Dr. Marc Lockhart Tuesday night before the court appearance. She said she had tried to meet with the doctor Wednesday morning before court, but was unsuccessful.

Ms. Thompson said the report appeared inconclusive but noted that the defendant’s “commitment to the therapeutic process was essential” for him.

Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez asked how long any proposed psychiatric therapy for the defendant would take, noting that the case has already been delayed in the Summary Court for a year.

“This matter has taken a most unusual course,” the magistrate said. “We have not taken the matter to where we should.”

Moreover, the magistrate noted that any trial in the case would likely take at least a week, since some 15 civilian witnesses – including children – might be required to testify.

The case was set for a management hearing on Aug. 17 at which time Magistrate Hernandez said she intends to set a trial date.