Suspects claim child lied to escape abusive mother

| 05/08/2016 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courthouse, George Town

(CNS): Two local men who are accused of systematically sexually abusing a female relative from when she was as young as nine years old have suggested the child made up the allegations in order to get away from her physically abusive mother. In a very sensitive but serious abuse case, the child in question has given inconsistent testimony that she was sexually abused by two male relatives. But she also revealed that she was badly treated by her mother, who forced her to do the household chores and was violent and abusive with her.

The court heard that from the time she was a young child she was exposed to her parents having sex when she was in the room.

The defendants, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have denied the allegations. Both men, aged 21 and 38, have stated that they were rarely in the house, which was home to an extended family and often overcrowded. The men claimed that when they were there, they were almost never alone with the child and never alone in rooms with her.

The judge has made it clear he is wrestling with the case, in which the evidence has been undermined by significant and excessive delays in the process of the investigation.

As the case came to a close Thursday, he asked the defense lawyers representing the two local men why the child would make a false allegation. They said the men knew about the physical abuse that the girl suffered at the hands of her mother and believe she made up a sexual abuse allegation to get away from home.

The men have suggested through their attorneys that the young girl was smart enough to realize that complaining about being beaten by her mother was not enough to be taken away. But because she had watched the American TV serious Law and Order, she was aware that a sexual abuse accusation would free her from her mother, who, the child has claimed, treated her like Cinderella. They also stated that the child was able to describe the men forcing her to suck their penises and other abusive acts in detail because she had been exposed to the sexual activity of her parents.

The child made the allegations about sexual abuse by the men as well as the violent and emotional abuse from her mother in 2012 when she was just 11 years old. After she told a school volunteer, social services removed the child from the home within a matter of days. She was placed with another female relative, where she has remained throughout the investigation, which has gone on for more than four years because the police dropped the ball.

An RCIPS investigation was initiated in the immediate wake of the allegations being made. The child completed a video interview with the Family Support Unit, but for reasons which remain a mystery no action was taken to progress the investigation, which lay dormant for more than 18 months. After a second video interview was conducted with the child in 2014 the police went on to interview the men she accused, both of whom denied the allegations.

At that point the enquiry stalled again before the men were eventually charged and then brought to court. It was more than two years after the police restarted the investigation before the trial started last week.

As the trial concluded, Justice Tim Owen, who is hearing the case alone, pressed the prosecution to find out the issues surrounding that delay. He also voiced his concerns about the case and the issues he has to decide as a result of the inexplicable delay in the case.

Now the case has concluded, the judge, who was visiting Cayman to act on the Grand Court Bench for a few weeks, is returning to the UK Friday. However, because he has a heavy case load ahead of him there, he said he would not be able to deliver a verdict until September.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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