A man named after video footage was circulated on social media appeared in Summary Court on Thursday charged with indecent exposure and indecent assault.
Leandro Solomon, 28, denied being the man in the video, defense attorney Kathleen Ryan told Magistrate Valdis Foldats. She applied for his bail.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright objected and set out the allegations.
He said the female complainant had been out for dinner on Sunday, Oct. 14. She left the restaurant around 12:30 a.m. and was walking home. In the area of Eden Rock, on South Church Street, she was accosted by a man whom she described as between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet tall, and 28 to 35 years old. She also identified a distinctive article of clothing.
She said the man asked her for a cigarette and she gave him one. He then continued to follow her and he offered her money.
She declined and when she reached the street where she lived, he groped her from behind and touched her stomach. She had the presence of mind to film what was happening, the court heard. He exposed himself to her and began masturbating, Mr. Wainwright told the court.
She ran to a nearby apartment complex but no one answered her attempts to get help. She was afraid the man would do her harm and she phoned police. The man continued his behavior and she began to yell at him and confront him. He left before police arrived.
The woman sent the video footage to a friend to see if that person could assist in identifying the man. Through a Facebook check, the name Leandro Solomon came up, Mr. Wainwright said.
Mr. Solomon was arrested the next day and refused to take part in a video identification. He said he had been in an altercation with a taxi driver and had a tendency to “black out” in situations causing anxiety.
The magistrate asked if the man being filmed had been aware of a recording device.
Mr. Wainwright indicated that it looked as though the perpetrator persisted: one of the shots had lasted about three minutes.
Ms. Ryan gave her client’s account of how he had spent his time. He told her he had spent Sunday at a beach bar and then had gone home to get some money and go out again. When he got to Meringue Town, it was closed, so he walked to a nearby gas station and asked for a taxi to be called.
The taxi arrived and the driver was someone he knew, so he got into the front passenger seat. The driver appeared not to like that and came at him with a knife, Ms. Ryan said. Mr. Solomon panicked and started running, jumping over a wall and hiding in the bush. After a while, he went back to the gas station and then to the police station to lodge a complaint against the taxi driver.
Mr. Solomon was arrested on Monday evening at a George Town bar. “He adamantly denies being the person in the video,” Ms. Ryan told the court.
Asked if she had seen the video, she said yes. Clearly there was a male in it, she indicated, but the outline was dark and the picture was jumping around. “You can’t make out who the person is,” she said.
The attorney advised that Mr. Solomon did have other matters in court, namely drugs and traffic offenses, “but nothing of this nature.” She said he was willing to abide by any bail conditions.
The magistrate pointed out that a bail hearing was not deciding whether a defendant was guilty or not. He noted that Mr. Solomon had previous convictions for failing to appear in court when he was supposed to, and he refused bail on this occasion.
He set the matter for mention on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and remanded the defendant in custody until then.