The Grand Court trial of a George Town man accused of raping his stepsister multiple times when she was between the ages of five and 15 began Friday with a summation of the facts by crown counsel Darlene Oko. The trial is being conducted by judge alone in the courtroom of Justice Roger Chapple.
Oko said that the complainant, now 20 years old, alleged numerous occasions of physical and sexual assault that began shortly before her sixth birthday. The complainant and defendant were living under the same roof at the time of the incidents brought before the court.
The court heard Friday that the complainant did not tell anyone about the incidents until a decade after the assaults began, but she believed that her father was aware of what was happening.
Before the case officially opened, defence counsel Alex Davies told the court that the case hinges on a “sole witness of fact” and that her credibility, honesty, accuracy and reliability would be tested.
Oko said the first incident occurred just before the complainant’s sixth birthday, and the defendant allegedly called her into his room and threw her onto the bed before abusing her. The complainant alleges that the defendant taped her mouth shut and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
The second incident occurred a few years later, and the defendant allegedly showed the complainant what appeared to be a gun and orchestrated her sexual assault by three unidentified men.
The men, all believed to be at least 20 years old at the time, each filed into the bedroom in turn and raped her, and the defendant allegedly said he would kill her if she did not comply.
The third incident occurred when the complainant was 11 years old, and the defendant allegedly opened her bedroom door in the middle of the night and raped her. Oko said the fourth incident occurred when the complainant was 15 years old, just before she was removed from the home.
The complainant confided in a school counsellor that she was being abused by her stepbrother in May of 2014, and she was removed from the home shortly thereafter. The complainant said in police interviews that the trauma associated with the assault caused her to act out due to distress.
The complainant took part in four recorded police interviews between September of 2016 and December of 2017, and the defendant was arrested in January of 2017. The first of those recorded interviews was played Friday, and the rest are expected to be played next week.
During her first police interview, the complainant said she was six years old when the first incident happened, and she said she had trusted her stepbrother at the time.
“I didn’t know any English because I came from Honduras. I didn’t have my own room at the time,” she said. “As a six-year-old, I didn’t expect a stepbrother to do such things to a sister.”
The complainant also recounted the incident with the three assailants, and she said that they were Caymanians of dark complexion who were around 20 years old at the time.
At the end of the first interview, the complainant said she had not seen her stepbrother since she was 12 years old. The complainant, pregnant at the time of the police interview, was asked what she would like to see done.
“I would like to press charges if it can happen. I would like to get this off my chest,” she said. “I’m seven months pregnant [ … ] I wouldn’t want anything like this to happen to my child.”
The defendant’s name is being withheld because media is restricted from publishing any information that could lead to the complainant’s identity.