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Youth acquitted of sex with minor charge

Youth acquitted of sex with minor charge


“All I had to do was pray to God and keep thinking positive.”

These were the words of Kevin Woods, who on Wednesday, November 30, was acquitted on two charges of having sex with a girl under the age of 13, back in 2009.{{more}}

After two hours and 50 minutes, a nine member mixed jury returned a not guilty verdict on one of the counts and were hung on the other count.

Presiding judge, Frederick Bruce-Lyle asked the crown what action they were going to take and they noted that they were not going to seek a re-trial on the first count.

At a loss for words, Woods thanked his lawyers, Ronald Marks and Patricia Marks for doing such a great job.

“…I want to thank my lawyers. I can’t even think clearly right now,” an elated Woods said.

Blinking enough to hold back the tears that had already settled in his eyes, the young man went and sat with his parents shortly after his fate was announced.

In relation to the first incident which allegedly took place in August 2009, the girl testified that she was coming from church when Woods alighted from a mini-van. She noted that the young man told her that he had something for her. She said they went into a house where they had sex.

On another occasion, on December 21, 2009, the girl said she was at her father’s home when Woods came there. She said he had been fiddling with a video camera in her father’s bedroom. She said he then pulled down her pants and had sex with her.

The girl told the court that she did not say anything because she was afraid she would get “licks” from her father.

In the testimony of a friend of the child’s father, the woman said on December 25, 2009, while downloading pictures from her camera onto her laptop computer, she saw a video clip of the girl and someone under a sheet.

The woman said she asked the girl about the video, but the child did not answer. The woman then called the child’s father to view the video. He then took the girl into a bedroom, with another man, and had a conversation with her.

Following the conversation, the father took the girl along with the laptop to the police station. It was then Woods’ name surfaced.

The woman told the court that she thought it was the child’s father under the sheets because she recognised the father’s bedroom from the video.

The woman said she confronted the child’s father about the video, but he denied being the person under the sheet.

Under cross-examination of the girl, lawyer Ronald Marks, representing Woods, put it to her that she only mentioned Kevin’s name because she was confronted about the video. Marks also put it to the girl that she is protecting the person who is really abusing her.

She denied both claims.

The girl also noted that after Woods had sex with her, she cleaned the room and washed the sheets.

In his testimony, Woods, a mechanic, said that on the date of the alleged first incident, he was at home working on a vehicle. He said he recalled that because it was a customary thing for him to do on Saturdays.

At the time of the second alleged offence, Woods said he was at work.

In a passionate and fiery address to the jury, defence attorney Marks said that there were too many inconsistencies in the crown’s case.

Marks noted that his client, after hearing rumours about him, went to an inspector of police to inquire about what was going on.

“… We don’t even know what was said in that room, but after they came out, they went to the police station and fingered Kevin as the person in the video…,” Marks submitted.

Marks argued that the girl was trying to protect the person with whom she is sexually active.

“Rape of a nine-year-old is a very horrible crime. This is a terrible time for a man to be accused for rape. People are crying out in this country,” Marks expressed.

Marks said the girl’s excuse for not telling was “Flimsy”.

“Don’t let situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines cause you to make a decision that is wrong. Be sure the tears of an innocent man don’t rest on allyo head and heads of allyo children,” an animated Marks told the jury.

Patricia Marks, who appeared with Marks, told SEARCHLIGHT that she thought the jury saw all the inconsistencies in the case and that Marks highlighted all the inconsistencies in summing up.

Crown counsel Sejilla McDowall and Colin John led the crown’s case.