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Judge sentences man to 18 years for raping 7-year-old girl

Judge sentences man to 18 years for raping 7-year-old girl

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High Court judge Wesley James says he believes that women must be able to walk the country freely, without being molested.{{more}}

And in sending that message on Thursday at the High Court, James sentenced Jonathan Browne of St Lucia/Carierre to 18 years in jail for raping a 7-year-old child, on January 31, 2011.

A nine-member jury found Browne, who represented himself, guilty.

But he maintained his innocence, stating that the child, her mother and fiancé that fabricated the story against him.

In the child’s testimony, she told the court that she was walking to school alone that day when she saw her attacker.

The child sobbed as she recounted the events of the fateful day.

“He ask me if I want ah dollar and I say no…”

Rocking from side to side in the witness dock, as her mother wiped the tears from her eyes and repeatedly rubbed her belly, the girl said Browne then placed his hand over her mouth, lifted her and took her to a banana field nearby and had sex with her.

In a statement to police investigator Corporal 519 Suzetta Rogers, Browne said he went to work on a construction project that day and went directly home after work.

“I don’t see how I could go this place at the time. I don’t see how I get myself mix up in raping this girl. I wasn’t there. It wasn’t me,” the statement quoted Browne as saying.

In his testimony in court, Browne said he knows the girl and her mother for over a decade.

“On January 31, I was at a project in Collins. I reach to work at around 7:50 a.m. During [the] course of the day, the carpenter told us that someone has been raped. I turned to a man and say that the child father go kill somebody for his child,” he said.

Browne added that he continued working until he went home at 5 p.m.

Head of the Major Crimes unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sydney James, in his testimony, said Browne was placed on an identification parade at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the child pointed him out as the one who had raped her.

“She said ‘he is the one that rape me’,” the detective said.

A doctor’s report stated that the child suffered a bruise on her nose and that the hymen was broken.

Other witnesses testified that Browne was not at the job site as he had said.

Just before passing sentence, Justice James described the crime as “an outrageous act”, noting that the victim was only “a little girl”. (KW)

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