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13-y-o in alleged buggery case changes statement

Published:Saturday | May 15, 2021 | 12:14 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer -
St Ann Parish Court in St Ann’s Bay.
St Ann Parish Court in St Ann’s Bay.

Prominent attorney-at-law Bert Samuels says the medical report in the case of the 13-year-old St Ann girl who was allegedly buggered by five males should give a clear picture as to where the truth lies.

In a major development yesterday, the teenager who first alleged that she was buggered by the men has reportedly changed her statement.

Five persons, two men aged 23 and 20, and three teenagers, one 18 and two 16-year-olds were initially charged with abduction, buggery and grievous sexual assault following allegations that the girl was dragged into an unfinished building and assaulted on April 26. Another suspect has since been taken into custody.

On Friday in court, it was reported that the victim changed her statement, to say that she was not abducted as she had gone with one of the accused willingly, and that she was never buggered.

Linton Bailey, deputy superintendent of police in charge of crime for St Ann, and Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn both declined to comment on the new development when they were contacted Friday afternoon.

Two of the accused were offered bail while the others were remanded and will return to court on Tuesday when their bail applications are expected to be heard.

S.R. Stewart, an attorney representing one of the accused men who was offered bail on Friday, indicated that he would be exploring all avenues to get the complainant brought to court to answer to perversion charges.

His client, the 23-year-old accused, was granted bail in the sum of $350,000.

Speaking with The Gleaner on Friday night, Samuels suggested that charging a 13-year-old with attempting to pervert the course of justice was not so easy to do, as “the prosecution is not going to lock up a little child for attempting to pervert the course of justice.”

Samuels indicated that the medical report should play a key role in the outcome of the case as it should give a clear picture of what the truth is.

“It’s a very complex situation. The interesting thing in this is, what did the medical evidence say? And to see whether the medical evidence is showing that the girl is lying. For her to say she was buggered by five men, a medical practitioner would have given evidence. We have to see now, what is the medical evidence saying?” Samuels pointed out.

Additionally, he said that no matter how the medical evidence was pointing to the offence, the alleged victim has to make it out on the witness box as the report alone could not stand in court.

On the matter of the initial statement, Samuels suggested that the mother of the child might have questions to answer also.

“This is a 13-year-old, the police normally make that person (that age) give a statement in the presence of their parents. On the assumption that the parent was present, then you may find that the mother may have to be investigated whether she knew that the child was lying and prompted the child to give the statement,” he said.