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Crisis Centre Speaks Out On Probation Bid For Sex Offender

CRISIS Centre Director Dr Sandra Dean Patterson yesterday said she is concerned that a lawyer representing a man convicted of sexually assaulting a then 11-year-old girl is advocating a three-year probation term as punishment.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Patterson referred to a case, in which the accused has been convicted, but is still awaiting sentencing.

“The attorney submitted that probation would not negatively impact on the now 19-year-old victim,” Dr Patterson said. “He claimed that the girl has been shown to be strong and had not appeared to be negatively affected by what had transpired.

“The emotional havoc that this molestation and violation creates for a child is often not seen or recognised by family and friends.”

“In situations where the child does exhibit signs of distress, these are often discounted or ignored,” she said.

“No child, however resilient, goes through the experience of molestation or rape unscathed. Many carry this nightmare with them well into their adult life. All children who experience this require intervention and help in coming to terms with this violation, which is made even worse, when it occurs at the hands of someone the child trusts.”

The victim’s advocate said the punishment for unlawful sex crimes in this country is life imprisonment, which “underscores the serious nature with which society regards this offence”.

She added that in delivering sentences, the court must weigh the facts of the case with the protection and welfare of the community.

“This communication is designed to underscore the gravity and seriousness of rape and the violation of young girls which happens all too frequently in our nation.

“The Bahamas ranks among countries in the world with the highest incidence of reported rape per capita and needs to address this face on. We must ensure that perpetrators are identified, prosecuted and punished. The Bahamas Crisis Centre takes the opportunity to again call for the inclusion of victim impact statements to be presented in court in camera, which can assist the court in appreciating the emotional damage that ensures from this violation.”

Comments

DonAnthony 4 years, 1 month ago

I applaud the crisis centre for being proactive on this sentencing issue. What are the sentencing guidelines for this crime? How could it be possibly less than 5-10 years for such a serious crime?

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DillyTree 4 years, 1 month ago

This man should not be allowed to be on probation. Nothing less than a full jail sentence is acceptable for his crime of preying on a young girl. This was not once -- he molested this young girl for several years, and as such, should be serving 5-10 for EACH occurence of this abuse. He does not belong on the streets where he would be free to molest and rape other young innocent children.

His lawyer should know better. Perhaps he would be comfortable having his convicted client babysit his 10 year old daughter, but I sure as hell wouldn't!

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DonAnthony 4 years, 1 month ago

Just read the statement from the crisis centre, the abuse was over a 5 year period and he took his victim to have an abortion. He should be sentenced to at least 20 years. http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publi...">http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publi...

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 1 month ago

This man is a big disgrace, He has damaged such a young child. It is enough to make one cry. He received 6 years. he should have been given Life in Jail. It will be very hard for her to get over what has happened to her. I am sorry that no one seemed to have any idea as to what was going on with her.

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