The case of a George Town man accused of raping his stepsister multiple times when she was aged between 5 and 15 ended in not guilty verdicts on Monday afternoon when the complainant was not able to continue her testimony. The Crown counsel elected not to further pursue the case.
The Grand Court judge-alone trial before Justice Roger Chapple took more than a week to progress.
The complainant, now 20 years old, entered her testimony in the form of four police interviews.
She was cross-examined over the course of several days. The case was delayed for a week for procedural issues, and it continued Monday morning. The complainant was shaken emotionally and not able to continue her testimony, resulting in a not guilty verdict on all counts.
The assaults allegedly began in 2004 or 2005 and carried through all the way until 2015, but the complainant gave differing accounts of when it ended in her testimony. There was no physical evidence involved in the case, which hinged exclusively on the testimony of the complainant.
The complainant alleged that the first time she told somebody about the assaults was in January 2014 when she spoke to a social worker, but she later admitted under cross-examination that she did not report sexual activity at that time. There was a gap of 2.5 years between the first disclosure of the sexual assaults and her police testimony, which also contained several inconsistencies.
The complainant admitted in cross-examination that there were errors in her police testimony, and she indicated that the inconsistencies happened because she was under pressure.
The complainant, who was born in Honduras, did not speak English when she first came to Cayman. She alleged that the defendant had threatened her life in English but could not explain how she had understood him.
The complainant’s mother was flown to Cayman from Honduras to testify in the case. She said that the complainant had also previously accused her father of sexual assault.
The complainant’s mother said that she believed her daughter had not told the truth about the sexual assault allegations against her father.
“I think [the complainant] lied. Otherwise they would not have granted him custody,” she said through an interpreter. “I think it was with regard to whether her father had touched her or not.”