Judge throws out difficult sex abuse case

| 15/02/2017 | 25 Comments

(CNS): A 57-year-old man was acquitted by a judge Wednesday after a successful application by his defence attorney that he had no case to answer in a challenging and very sensitive case of child abuse. The man, who cannot be named because of the potential to identify the little girl, was having a relationship with the child’s mother when, at just eight years old, she told a social worker he was abusing her. But the judge found many problems with the case that led him to conclude that he could not be convinced beyond reasonable doubt the accused man was guilty.

Justice Charles Quin pointed to the weaknesses in the child’s evidence and the way it had been presented. There was no corroborating evidence to support the child’s allegations and there was considerable evidence in the case that the girl was also being abused by other relatives, confirmed by the child’s mother, who also told the court that she believed the girl was lying about her boyfriend abusing her and he had raised his concerns that the child was being abused by others.

The mother admitted that she too had been abused and that all five of her children had been taken into care at some point because of sexual abuse in the family. She also noted that her eldest son has mental health problems and frequently masturbates in public areas, which the little girl had also seen.

The judge said it was a “tragic and disturbing case” and it was clear the child was emotionally disturbed but there was considerable evidence from experts that the little girl was able to relate a false narrative as if it were true and to manipulate circumstances to try to get what she wanted.

Several of them reported extreme behaviour and the child’s ability to tell lies. In this case there was reason to believe that the child wanted to live with her own father and not the defendant. The defence argued that she was accustomed to lying to get what she wanted and that she knew such an allegation would get rid of the mother’s boyfriend.

Her behaviour when she was interviewed in the first instance following the allegation she made to a social worker, which was played to the court, and when she gave evidence via video link during the trial, which was two years after that, showed a very disturbed little girl who was extremely challenging to manage in an interview situation.

This had led to a distortion of the evidence as the interviewer had used encouraging terms when the child spoke about her abuser and had asked questions that could be considered leading rather than taking down the details of a spontaneous report of abuse.

It was very difficult, Justice Quin stated in his ruling, for the court to follow her evidence and he said it left him with the “uncomfortable feeling” over her reliability. He said there was “no doubt” that the child had suffered parental neglect and abuse but there was no evidence to corroborate her claim that the defendant was one of her abusers.

The judge also raised his concerns about the delays in the case coming to trial, which were not the fault of anyone involved but because further investigations had to be made after the defendant was charged.

Unable to convict the accused man, Justice Quin entered a not guilty verdict in all five counts, which included a charge of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency.

The man, however, was remanded in custody as he has other matters in the courts that have yet to be heard. CNS understands that the outstanding charges relate to another sexual abuse allegation on a child.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is normal accepted behavior according to the bible so, why question the word of God to begin with?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go on, someone blame the furreners? That’s what happened on last such article..but strange the silence now that the truth comes home to roost…sexual abuse of Caymanian minors by their own families is rife. Of course there are sickos everywhere, including some foreign ones here, but unless Cayman wakes up to the fact it has this problem, exposes it publicly, talks about it, and drafts laws with some powerful teeth and enforcement as well as proper social supervision then this island may as well just give up…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Did they ever stop to think why she behaved the way she did? This is another perfect example as to why so many victims stay quiet. They are embarrassed, examined, questioned, and have to speak about the painful and explicit details of the abuse over and over again only for it to be treated as a simple offence and eventually thrown out. It’s so hard to live in such a small community where everyone knows that you were abused and no justice was served. DISGUSTING!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Listen……do you hear that? The deafening sound of silence from our Government and the Churches of the Cayman Islands. I have yet to hear a single word from them condemning the prevalent sexual abuse of children in these Islands.

    Or is child abuse just another example of the ‘Caymanian traditional family values’ that they are trying to protect. Because, this is a very very old problem in the Cayman Islands, with child abuse being hidden and swept under the carpet.

    I say Cayman needs to do away with their ‘traditional family values’ and start looking at new and different ‘family values’ because the ‘traditional’ families nowadays leave a lot to be desired! Adultery, domestic abuse, child abuse those seem to be the norm nowadays.

    Not something that I want for my Caymanian family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Do you have or do you not have the Statutory rape Law?

  6. Anonymous says:

    WTF have I just read? I feel sick to my stomach.

    • Anonymous says:

      what you read is that this stuff will continue to go on in Cayman because for the most part there is still that family inbreeding mentality along with the west indian /slave influences going on. That topped off with jamaician belief that a daughter is property of the father and on this earth for his pleasure…Will cause this kind of behavior to go on for the future..Nothing will stop it or check it because look how pretty they look in sunday clothes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Strange how after two years it becomes “the child’s evidence” and not “the Crown’s evidence” or “professional interview technique/trail preparation” that was faulted. Are there any statistics of just how many failed cases are brought to court by our prosecutors and thrown out by our judges? Shouldn’t we be learning something? Poor little kid is now released back into a fire pot of abuse and retribution. Our prosecution team wastes more of our money, and trial time, while failing another victim.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When I started listening to the radio report of this acquittal, I was appalled that yet another alleged “sexual predator” had been released, until I heard the name of the Judge and I thought, “something can’t be right”, as I hold Justice Quinn in high esteem. As I continued to listen to the details my disgust shifted squarely to the parent(s) and the “parenting” that this poor child has been subjected to for her entire life.

    This is a sad, sad case as this young lady is damaged for life. Worse, she will soon be a “mother” herself and there is only one way she will raise her offspring – in the same example she knows. Even more sad, her case is surely one of hundreds exactly like it in our community. That is our future, how truly sad!

  9. Anonymous says:

    What? Again? a very disturbed little girl who was extremely challenging to manage in an interview situation? Why is she so disturbed anyone? Why was she challenging to interview? May be because of lack of skills of the social worker?
    My heart bleeds for children of the Cayman Islands. Innocent victims who even judicial system and and army of social workers would not protect.

  10. Anonymous says:

    These people need to stop reproducing for the children’s sake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dr. Connelly (Florida) is the founder and developer of Rapid Resolution Therapy, a revolutionary psychotherapeutic approach to resolving emotional and behavioral difficulties. Violence, a non-profit (501C3) organization providing mental health professionals with state-of-the-art training in advanced clinical methods of eliminating the negative influence of trauma.

      I suggest that he is invited to provide therapy sessions (on as needed basis) to those damaged children. These kids need a therapist of the highest caliber.

      The Government must pay for the treatments. Eliminating one or two useless positions in the family unit would provide funds for that.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Whether this child lied or not the point is what is the final outcome of getting this whole family help, proper help. Obviously there are several issues here, one beginning with the other child with mental health who the mother states has masturbated in public, she herself was abused so many different emotional and physical issues that need to be addressed so that we do not end up with more walk abouts acting out in public and just being brushed aside as if our society does not have mental issues. This country has a huge mental issue and abuse issues which needs immediate attention we cannot continue to just ignore, this isn’t the Cayman of the past where you had a strong family unit which would help out or worse just brushed it under the rug as no one wanted to admit their family had problems. This should be on the fore front of the political campaign or someone in Govt agenda.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If the Cayman Govt is incapable of dealing with these fundamental community problems, the U.K. Govt should step in. These crimes against children will blight not just this generation, but generations to come. Instead of talking of building ports, boardwalks and other inconsequential stuff, the no1 priority should be preventing child abuse now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the UK has such a great handle on its own societal flaws? This is OUR home and OUR problem. We are collectively failing our children. There’s no one quick fix. It will take a collective effort from parenting, school, , the police, government ministries and the community in general. I understand that dating when you are a single parent is tricky because you introduce a person to your child and you take a risk. If it were me and my child made the allegations I would have to err on the side of her being honest until every single iota of doubt were removed. If the interview is mishandled, the evidence prejudiced and time lapse too great then how can we expect a just result. It really is sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes because the U.K. has certainly solved this problem right?? So many people calling for the U.K. to step in on this and step in on that. The last time the U.K. stepped in they restricted Government spending. Guess what some of the areas affected were… the very same ones that people are saying our Govt can’t address on its own. Anyone see the connection yet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 2.48, but at least they do step in and do something…Cayman is not yet at that stage, so maybe we do need to ask them or the Swedes or Norwegians to help

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re obviously a moron. To say that nothing is being done is to ignore the fact that the Children Law is in effect. Schools and social services work closely together to address any incidence. Police are arresting people and processing and courts are hearing cases. If nothing were being done then why are we responding to an article about the court case?! Speak about the failings in this instance but don’t use alternative facts to justify your position Mr. Trump.

  13. Xoxo says:

    Messed up.

  14. Anonymous says:

    A teacher friend of mine told me that 35 years ago she was told by the Education Department that Caymanian children did not have so called mental and social problems and so did not need school counselor services just firm discipline. All teachers knew that what is described in this article…and worse….was going on but the powers that be refused to believe it.

  15. Veritas says:

    A very sad situation, but it illustrates how serious and prevalent familial sex abuse of children is in these islands.

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