A Trinidad & Tobago national, Andre Stedman, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a minor girl.
The former security officer who is in his late 50s was also slapped with a 12-month prison sentence for indecent assault, a report by BVI News said.
His sentences are to run concurrently.
In handing down the sentence on Friday, Justice Ann-Marie Smith said his continuous denial of the offences, the apparent abuse of trust, the fact that the offences took place in the complainant’s bedroom, the threats that Stedman allegedly made, coupled with the negative impact on the minor were considered as aggravating.
The court also heard that the minor, who was 13-years-old at the time of the rape, has considered harming herself since the incident.
This is according to the victim’s handwritten witness impact statement which was read in court.
The court heard that the minor had difficulties focusing on her school work, often felt ‘weak’, and became uncomfortable among her peers.
It was at that point she decided to report the rape to her parents and subsequently, the police, the court further heard.
According to the BVI News report, the court heard that on the day in question, Stedman met the rape victim’s stepfather at their family home for a social meet-up.
The two men then proceeded to watch sports on television while the young lady remained in her bedroom.
BVI News reports that sometime later that night, the stepfather went to bed while Stedman fell asleep on the couch.
The court heard that at some point during the night, the victim exited her bedroom and noticed Stedman sleeping. She subsequently returned to bed.
Later that night, the young woman was awakened by Stedman on top of her. He had penetrated her, the court heard.
The matter was reported to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Stedman was charged.
- Source: BVI News