Case against indecent intruder hangs on DNA

| 21/08/2017

(CNS): The crown’s case against a West Bay man who prosecutors say entered a Seven Mile Beach condo in the middle of the night and indecently assaulted a woman when he made her hold his penis as he masturbated by the side of her bed, depends on DNA. The woman, who was visiting the Cayman Islands from the United States, said she could not see the intruder’s face though she was able to give some details of the assailant. But the traces of DNA led to charges being laid against Ronnie Rodney Ebanks (49). The court heard that Ebanks is also accused of stealing around US$220 in cash, which he took from his victim’s wallet, as well as the sexual offence.

As the trial opened before visiting judge Justice Marva McDonald Bishop, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards QC, who is leading the case, said that the woman had arrived in Cayman just two days before what she described in a statement as a “very scary incident”.

On Sunday, 13 February, at the Christopher Columbus Condos on West Bay Road the woman, who was staying there with her son, had gone to bed at around 11:30pm. But some time in the early morning hours she heard whimpering and moaning; at first she thought it might be her son who had gone to bed with a migraine but as she called her son’s name and shook herself awake she realised it was not her son.

She said she saw a silhouette of a near-naked man holding his erect penis. He had a T-shirt around his shoulders and a hat on his head but no pants and as she called out, he said, “You know what this is, I’m not going to hurt you.”

The woman said he spoke with a soft voice and a strong Cayman accent but he was not aggressive. She said the intruder was around 5 ft 7 inches with medium brown skin, but she said she could not see his face.

However, he urged the woman to touch him and told her, “We are going to be quick,” as he pushed his penis towards her and told her to put her hand on it as he began stroking her hair and shoulder. But as she resisted, the man told her she was so sweet and he did not want to use his gun on her and then asked her to “put her mouth on it”. She yelled “no” and as he asked her to show him intimate parts of her body she shouted louder. He then went into the bathroom and then left the apartment.

At that point, her son came out of his room to ask what was going on and the woman said she immediately called 911. She told police it was a terrifying ordeal to wake and find the stranger in her room. However, she said that while he mentioned not using his gun, twice, she said she did not see a weapon and given that he was not wearing clothes he had nowhere to keep it.

Following the report, several samples were taken by scenes of crime officers from the woman’s hands and clothes; hairs were also found and taken by the police. Ebanks was arrested a few days after the incident and he was charged when his DNA was found in several samples. Facing one count of burglary and one of indecent assault, Ebanks has denied all the charges and insisted that he was not the intruder and was elsewhere at the time.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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