Man rapes, impregnates 15-year-old student, boarding from Grenadines
An individual who housed a 15-year-old girl from the Grenadines who needed to attend Secondary School, then raped and impregnated her, will spend 18 years and five months in jail.
Eurney Jackson was sentenced last Tuesday, October 29, at the High Court in Kingstown.
Jackson was convicted at his retrial, after there was a hung jury for the first trial. When convicted, the 40-year-old married man faced sentencing for two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
During the process of sentencing Jackson, the court revised the facts surrounding this life altering incident for the teenager.
Justice Brian Cottle, who presided over the trial that was prosecuted by crown counsel Renée Simmons, informed that the teenager came from a Southern Grenadines island.
She, as well as her siblings, travelled to the mainland, to live with Jackson and his wife, from whose house the students would be able to travel to and from their schools easily.
On August 5, 2012, the victim was asleep in a bedroom that she shared with her siblings. Jackson entered the room, and removed her nightclothes. She got up and recognized him. He then proceeded to have unlawful sexual intercourse with the teen. According to her evidence, the teenager was too small to fight him off. She had breathing difficulties, and the weight of Jackson “was sufficient to render her unable to struggle effectively.”
Jackson repeated this the following night.
No one heard anything about the occurrence, until the teen’s mother noticed changes to her daughter’s body. A pregnancy test confirmed her that the young girl was pregnant.
A DNA test proved that Jackson was the father of the child.
Attorney, Raymond Sylvester Cadette, who mitigated for Jackson did not believe his client should spend another minute seated in the prisoner’s box.
He believed that it should have been thought that the teen gave implied consent.
“She agreed with it. A normal person would kick him down, hit him on his head, kick him down,” Cadette submitted.
The lawyer questioned why the girl did not, run, scream, wake those next to her, or push him off.
“She sat back and for minutes she enjoyed the sex,” Cadette commented, “Only when she realized she was pregnant, and her parents were getting to her,” did she say anything, he said.
However, Jackson had also composed a letter to the court, which said, “I have hurt Almighty God. I have already asked him to forgive me, I have repented, I asked him to change my wicked heart to a good heart. Now I realize what I have done, I hurt this teenage girl, her parents, her family, my wife, my family, my community, my country, the entire court of justice in my country…”
It continues, “I am guilty. I am begging your leniency, have mercy on me. I have made up my mind not to repeat this horrible crime.”
In sentencing, the judge was bound to new sentencing guidelines launched by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court(ECSC) recently.
The guidelines for sexual offences have categories to measure the harm caused by the offence.
“In this case, a pregnancy resulted from the rape, and this would place the offence in the high category,” Cottle stated.
In terms of seriousness, the judge found it to be exceptional.
“This prisoner stood in loco parentis of the virtual complainant. He abused the position of trust. There was a 25-year disparity in the ages of the parties. The incident took place in the bedroom of the complainant where she should have been safest,” he listed.
Guided by his directions, he took the sentence to 50% of the maximum, which is 30 years imprisonment(life in prison).
Aggravating features were then considered, including the victim’s age, that it was unprotected sexual intercourse and the girl was away from her home island, depending on the prisoner for boarding and lodging.
“Her sisters shared a room, and they more likely than not, witnessed the assault,” Cottle noted.
“Despite the submissions by counsel(Cadette), this court can easily imagine why these children would pretend to be asleep rather than risk becoming victims of similar attention by the prisoner,” the Justice stated.
For mitigation, Cottle said he could only say that there was no more force used than is inherent in sexual offences. He also took the remorse into consideration.
Juggling these factors, he decided to move to 55% of the maximum.
After the subtraction for time already spent on remand the number came to 16 years 4 months and 28 days. On the second count, two years incarceration was meted out, to run consecutively to the first sentence.