Trial date set for teacher’s aide indecent assault case

The trial of a former teacher’s aide accused of indecently assaulting primary schoolgirls in 2014 has adjourned until next month.

He appeared in Summary Court on Thursday, when defense attorney Karin Thompson asked permission to come off record. She noted that she had represented the defendant since the matter first came to court. Due to a conflict of a professional nature, she asked permission to withdraw.

Ms. Thompson noted that she had arranged for a smooth transition to another attorney.

Attorney Laura Larner advised that her firm, Samson & McGrath, had received the legal aid certificate for the defendant and she was available to take over the case.

Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez said she was trying to accommodate the trial in March because of its age and sensitive nature. She set a case management date and two tentative trial dates so that Crown prosecutor Darlene Oko could determine her trial schedule.

The defendant was 19 when he first appeared in court in July 2015. The court was told at the time that he resigned from his position a week after the first report was made against him.

In November 2015, he pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of indecently assaulting females. The seven girls named in the charges ranged in age between 6 and 10 at the time of the alleged incidents.

The court was subsequently advised of communication difficulties that delayed a trial, but in August 2016 trial was set for February 2017. It was at this stage that Ms. Thompson advised of the conflict.

The Cayman Compass is not naming the defendant or the government school since that could lead to identification of the girls.