Former UCCI lecturer Pierre Pavlov Rameau had his sentencing adjourned again when he appeared in Grand Court on Thursday for possession of child pornography. The 12 counts to which he pleaded guilty last month involve hundreds of images, including still photos and film.
Senior Crown counsel Nicole Petit told Justice Carlisle Greaves that there was “a paucity” of local cases that she could cite as guidance for sentencing. She brought two cases to his attention and noted that Cayman typically refers to U.K. sentencing precedents.
Judge Greaves, who currently serves in Bermuda, said referring to U.K. guidelines did not prevent attorneys from looking elsewhere as well. He indicated he was aware of sentences in small Caribbean jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands. He said he considered this case to be so serious that he needed all available material before him. Mr. Rameau “is facing a substantial sentence,” he noted.
The judge suggested looking at cases in jurisdictions such as Bermuda and Barbados – places of a similar size as Cayman, similar nature, customs and so on. He said he was not referring to Jamaica or Trinidad because those countries were large by comparison.
The maximum sentence in Cayman is 15 years, he commented. If he were generous and allowed a 50 percent discount, that would still be a sentence of seven and a half years before considering aggravating and mitigating factors.
Ms. Petit said she would be happy to conduct the research exercise overnight. However, defense attorney Prathna Bodden referred to her schedule and the need to study any new precedents presented by the Crown.
The judge agreed to have Ms. Petit submit any new material by Wednesday, May 30. Ms. Bodden will then have until Monday, June 4, to respond. The new sentencing date was set for later that week.
The matter came to light after a female student asked Mr. Rameau for assistance with classwork. The court heard earlier that he moved their email conversation to Snapchat and asked her to send him indecent photos of herself. A complaint was filed against Mr. Rameau, which led to a charge of using an Information and Communication Technology network to annoy, abuse and harass a female by requesting her to send him indecent images.
Ms. Petit explained that the child pornography found on Mr. Rameau’s electronic devices could be placed in one of three categories. The most serious, category A, was comprised of images showing penetrative sexual activity. The next level of seriousness was category B, showing non-penetrative sexual activity; followed by category C, which includes erotic poses of an indecent or exploitative nature. In this case, Mr. Rameau possessed “a significant number” of category A images, along with images in the other categories as well.
Child pornography involves serious abuse of children, Ms. Petit pointed out – in this case, some very young children.
Some of the charges Mr. Rameau admitted involved “a pre-pubescent child.” The term refers to a child who has not yet reached puberty. Other charges referred to “children under 18 years.”
There was no evidence that Mr. Rameau was distributing the images, but he was providing a ready market for people who do distribute such material, the Crown pointed out.
Half of the charges referred to indecent photographs and half referred to indecent films.
Crown counsel Emma Hutchinson presented the social inquiry report prepared about the defendant, who is 49. She mentioned his participation in 33 chatrooms and 27 WhatsApp groups. He denied sexual interest in children, but there was evidence of him conversing with a girl of 14 while presenting his age as 25.
Ms. Bodden has not yet made her submissions.
Mr. Rameau, who has been in custody since December, was scheduled for sentencing last week Thursday. Justice Michael Wood adjourned the matter because he had not received the submission he had requested from attorneys. Justice Wood completed his temporary appointment the following day and Justice Greaves has taken the matter over.