A 44-year-old man was acquitted in Grand Court Tuesday on charges of wrongful confinement and indecent assault stemming from an alleged incident with a 15-year-old boy.
Justice Charles Quin, who presided over the four-day judge-alone trial, said he found both the complainant and defendant’s accounts plausible and could detect “no evidence of embellishment or exaggeration.”
“At the end of the day,” he said, “I was just not satisfied to the required level of proof.”
The defendant, a security guard, was accused of locking a local employee of a retail store in his car for half an hour and making improper advances toward him. The complainant alleged that the guard tried to kiss him and fondled his hands, but the defendant denied that any of those actions happened.
Justice Quin cited the review of CCTV footage by an independent witness to underline inconsistencies in the testimony of the complainant. The complainant said the encounter in the car lasted 30 minutes, but CCTV footage seemed to corroborate the defendant’s account that it was 10 minutes or less.
The witness who reviewed the footage also said the complainant did not run from the vehicle as he had said, but instead walked away. Justice Quin referenced that account and underlined testimony that the locks on the defendant’s car doors were never inaccessible to the complainant.
Justice Quin said that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Crown Counsel had done exemplary work in lining up its case but just did not eliminate reasonable doubt, and he noted that the defendant had maintained his story while “subject to vigorous but quite proper cross-examination.”