13 years for ‘appalling’ and ‘terrible’ rape

A man who tried to strangle his victim and threatened to kill her was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years’ imprisonment for what Justice Michael Mettyear called a terrible and appalling rape.

Andre Antonio Chase, 23, pleaded guilty last month to rape and aggravated burglary after asking for a Goodyear direction – that is, an indication of what the sentence would be if he pleaded guilty. Justice Mettyear said at the time that the maximum would be 15 years minus a discount for the guilty plea.

On Wednesday, a new indictment was brought and Chase pleaded guilty to four different burglaries and one attempted burglary, all of which occurred around the time of the rape. The judge imposed a term of one year for each of these five offenses, concurrent with each other but consecutive to the 13 years for the rape charge, for a total of 14 years.

Crown counsel Scott Wainwright said the rape victim was at the back of her West Bay residence one night last year when she heard a disturbance at the front. When she went to investigate, she was immediately attacked by a stranger. A rope or cord was placed around her neck and an attempt was made to strangle her. The attacker then produced a knife.

The woman asked him what he wanted and he initially said money. She went to get some cash and he then made sexual demands, telling her to take off her clothes. She did not do so.

He then ordered her upstairs, where he raped her. He then ordered her to take a shower twice.

The attacker then started going through her things and when she went to see what he was doing, he punched her in the face several times, referring to her as a punching bag. There was a struggle and he dropped a cellphone he was attempting to steal. He left the premises with her wallet, car keys and a tool box.

Mr. Wainwright explained that police were going through the neighborhood on foot at that time because there had been reports of a prowler in the area. When they came across Chase, he ran, leaving behind his flip-flops.

Five days later, Chase was arrested. The tool box stolen from the woman was in the car he was driving. He initially denied any involvement in the rape/aggravated burglary.

When DNA analysis was done, Chase’s DNA was shown to match DNA found on the woman’s body, as well as DNA on the cellphone he had tried to steal and the flip-flops he had been wearing.

The woman submitted a victim impact statement; she asked that it not be read in court but taken into account.

The woman had made it clear in her statement that she was not seeking vengeance and in that she showed a generous spirit, the judge commented. The incident had been “terrible” and “appalling,” the judge said.

The victim had found it necessary to give up her job in Grand Cayman and had left the island. Waiting for the trial had been ongoing punishment for her, the judge indicated, and he said he hoped the sentencing would bring her closure.

The judge referred to Chase’s record of previous convictions, which dated back to when he was 18. It included assaults and threats to kill or do serious harm.

“What you did on this occasion and your record make me very concerned about how things are going to end up with you and what other offenses you will commit in your lifetime,” Justice Mettyear told Chase.