By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
CHRISTIAN People’s Movement leader Stephen Serrette will have to be electronically monitored as a condition of the $10,000 bail granted him by a judge yesterday ahead of his trial on a charge of sexually assaulting two under age boys.
The bond, which was not objected to by the prosecution, was granted to the 51-year-old Turnquest Avenue resident by Justice Vera Watkins who warned the accused not to go near or interfere with the complainants in the case.
Justice Watkins also stipulated that Serrette had to report to the Cable Beach police station twice a week, surrender all of his travel documents to the court, and stay clear of the complainants in the case.
Failure to abide by these conditions will result in his bail being revoked.
Serrette was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court on May 27 before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez in connection with allegations that on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, he had sex with the elder of the two boys.
The second charge accuses him of having sex with the younger boy at some time between 2011 and 2012.
The third charge claims the party leader purposely allowed the two boys to have sex with each other.
Serrette was not required to enter a plea in the matter, but his lawyer Ramona Farquharson-Seymour said he maintains his innocence on all counts.
A Voluntary Bill of Indictment will be drafted to fast track the case to the Supreme Court. That presentation is scheduled for July 16. He was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison as he was ineligible for bail from the Magistrate’s Court. However, he was told of his right to apply to the Supreme Court for a bond.
Yesterday, the 51-year-old was escorted to court with his parents steps ahead of him in support.
Before Justice Watkins, his attorney, Mrs Farquharson-Seymour made the application on behalf of her client.
The judge questioned Serrette’s immigration status due to unfamiliarity with his surname.
The attorney claimed that Serrette was Bahamian, having been born in Eleuthera before 1973 and his parents were present to vouch for him.
Justice Watkins asked for a passport, reasoning that it is customary in bail proceedings for the court to request proof because “the first thing that comes to mind is if he’s a flight risk.”
“Does he have a passport?” the judge then asked.
“Yes,” Mrs Farquharson-Seymour responded.
“I’m considering bail but also considering an electronic monitoring device,” the judge said.
However, the lawyer submitted that considering her client’s position in society and him not having any antecedents, reporting conditions would be more appropriate.
Justice Watkins differed on that point, noting that an electronic monitoring device would assist the court, in this case, about the whereabouts of the accused so as to ensure that there was no interference with the complainants in the case.
In the end, Justice Watkins granted a bond and set it at $10,000 on condition that he has two suretors post his bail; he reports to the Cable Beach police station on Mondays and Thursdays on or before 6pm; he surrenders all travel documents to the court, and does not interfere with the boys.
Failure to abide by these conditions will result in the court revoking bail and remanding Serrette back to Her Majesty’s Prison.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour asked the court if it could reduce the bond to $9,500 to allow his parents, who had job letters on hand, to be able to meet bail instead of having to put up land papers.
However, Justice Watkins said that the bond would not change and that Serrette would have to “find two suretors that can qualify.”
He is remanded in custody until his bail is posted.