Helper accuses boss and his friend of rape

| 22/09/2016 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Jamaican woman who was working as an evening child-minder told the court Wednesday that she was raped by two men while she was completely intoxicated. The helper said that one of the men was her boss and the other was his friend, whom she barely knew. But only the second man appeared in the dock this week when the trial opened as the helper’s employer didn’t answer bail. The crown told the court that it was almost a year since Stephen Mason had turned up for a court appearance and neither the police nor his lawyer had been able to locate him, though there was no formal record that he had left the island.

But a decision was made to press on with the trial in Mason’s absence as the allegations against both men related to an incident that happened more than four years ago and the remaining defendant, who has denied the allegations and persistently answered to bail, had requested the case go ahead.

As Nicole Petite opened the case for the prosecution, she told the judge, who is presiding over the trial without a jury, that the defendants accepted that sex had taken place but that it was consensual. The crown, however, contended that the woman had never given, and was incapable of giving, consent due to the level of intoxication.

As she gave evidence about the night of the alleged rape in July 2012, the woman admitted that she could not remember all of the events because, unused to drinking alcohol, she had accepted and drunk at least eight cups of Hennessey on an empty stomach. But she said she did know that she had not given consent to either of the men to have sex with her at any time.

She told the court that she worked for Mason for six evenings a week looking after two small children and was paid just $125 per week. She admitted that she did not have a permit for this extra job and it was her aunt’s husband who held her permit as a helper for them. She told the court that she was friendly with her boss, and although he had made advances towards her, she had refused them and laughed off the things he said to her about wanting to have sex.

Recounting the events of the evening of the alleged rape, she explained that following a difficult day and having been given permission by Mason, she had taken two drinks of Hennessey after the children went to bed and while he had gone to collect his wife, who worked nights.

When he returned, she was expecting that he would drive her home but she said that in the car he gave her some more Hennessey and told her they were going for a drive. She said that she was getting more and more drunk, feeling light-headed and giggling a lot, but she recalled going to the Prospect area with Mason before he received a call and then they drove back to town.

She described being at the Office Bar and watching Mason meet with the second defendant and swapping shirts with him. After that, she said, she could not remember anything until she arrived at a house where she was taken up some stairs by Mason. She said she could remember talking with him on the couch but not what about. Some time later, she said, she awoke to find herself in bed with Mason, who was having sex with her, but she said she did not recall how it started and she has no memory of consenting.

She said she must have passed out or fallen asleep before waking again to find another man lying behind her and having sex with her. The woman said she turned to see Mason’s friend, who she barely knew and had met on only two occasions. She said by then she was crying and asked him, “Why are you doing this to me?”

Falling asleep again, she woke once more to find herself alone in the room and left the house. Wondering around and having no idea where she was, she made her way to the road, where she was able to get a lift home.

During cross-examination by attorneys Dennis Brady, who acted on behalf of Mason as amicus curiae in his absence, and Crister Brady, who acted on behalf of the second dependent, the woman denied that she made the allegations because she had been expecting the men to pay her and when she did not get the money she wanted to get even.

She admitted not being sure about what she said or did and struggled to remember parts of the night as she had voluntarily drunk a lot of alcohol. She said she had trusted Mason and considered him a friend and never expected that he would hurt her. She told the court that she did not know his friend and asked what kind of person he was that he would have sex with her when it was so obvious she was “out of it” and so very drunk.

The woman also admitted that at first as she had lied to her boyfriend, her aunt and even the police about being abducted by two men at gunpoint as she was too ashamed and humiliated to admit that she had been raped because she was so drunk and did not know how to make them stop.

Blaming herself, she said she was also afraid to go to the police as she thought she would be in trouble, not least because she had no permit to work for Mason. Her aunt had been the one who insisted she report the incident but it was not until her aunt left the police interview room that she told the officers the real story.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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