St. Vincent: Man jailed for having sex with 12-year-old stepdaughter

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(CMC) – A 52-year-old man has been sentenced to 39 years in jail for having sex with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, with the judge saying he had taken advantage of a child who looked up to him as a father figure and also depended on him for economic assistance.

Justice Brian Cottle said that the aggravating features of the crime far outweighed the mitigating factors and that was the only reason he would not impose consecutive jail terms on the convicted man, whose name has not been released.

He sentenced the man to 12 years on each of the three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and three years for indecent assault.

The man had been convicted of the offences on March 15 and when he came up for sentencing on Tuesday, Crown Counsel Sejilla McDowall said that the breach of trust was a major aggravating factor in the case.

She noted that the man operated as a father figure in the girl’s life, adding that the case included elements of sexual advantage. The prosecutor said that the man had the economic advantage in that the girl had little means.

She told the court that, while he offered the girl food and money, he did so specifically when sex occurred.

The court heard that the social inquiry report had indicated that the convicted man had expressed no remorse.

McDowall said the response of the community was “noteworthy and alarming” in that residents expressed disbelief that the man would have committed such an act.

In passing sentence, Justice Cottle said that the child had told the man she would report his crimes to her mother and he had told her to go ahead asking her what her mother could do about it.

“There is something the State can do,” the judge said, adding that unfortunately, he is constrained to follow the guidance of the Court of Appeal.

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