By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A CONTRACTOR convicted of raping a Jamaican woman during her vacation to The Bahamas was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday.
Leroy Tucker, 57, appeared before Justice Guilimina Archer facing up to life imprisonment for the sexual assault on a houseguest of his in August 2007, which he defended as being a consensual threesome with the alleged victim and his girlfriend.
He stood trial before then Supreme Court Justice Roy Jones in October 2015 who has since been appointed to the Court of Appeal bench.
Tucker’s defence to the allegation was that what transpired between him and the complainant was not rape but consensual sex with him and his Jamaican girlfriend who has since been deported.
His assertion, the judge noted before imposing her sentence, was that their relationship was a financially abusive one that became strained once he began to experience financial hardships.
Justice Archer, with the assistance of transcripts of the trial and a probation report concerning Tucker’s social background and all of the circumstances of the case, concluded that the offence warranted a five-year term at the Department of Correctional Services.
According to the evidence presented at trial last October, the complainant arrived in the country on August 6, 2007 for a vacation and stayed at Tucker’s residence as a guest of his girlfriend, a fellow Jamaican.
Three days later, the hostess and the complainant were in a living room where the hostess was drinking and smoking marijuana.
The complainant said that the hostess made sexual advances to her, which she rejected before going to the bathroom to take a shower.
When the complainant rolled back the shower curtain to dry off, she found the hostess blocking her path.
She was able to get around the woman and ran to grab her belongings and luggage. When she attempted to make a phone call, the woman grabbed the phone and rebuked her for attempted to use “her man’s phone.”
The complainant returned to the room and put on a nightgown in hopes the hostess would lower her guard if she appeared to have calmed down.
Lying in the master bedroom with the hostess who was watching television, the complainant made another attempt to use the telephone but the woman stopped her, took the phone and left the room.
The hostess returned and Tucker was behind her. He told the complainant to “lay on the bed and give me some *.”
The complainant was held down by the hostess while Tucker retrieved and put on a condom, before sexually assaulting the complainant, it was alleged.
Tucker finished his actions by removing the condom and ejaculating on the houseguest’s stomach.
The evidence, Justice Archer said, was accepted by the nine-member jury that returned a unanimous guilty verdict on October 21, 2015.
Justice Archer acknowledged the plea in mitigation made by defence lawyer Glendon Rolle.
Mr Rolle had argued that the court should consider imposing probation, failing that, a three-year sentence and a term of probation given his client’s lack of antecedents.
The lawyer had also asked the court to bear in mind his client’s strong community ties as a common law husband, father of four and a contractor who provided employment for Bahamians through numerous contracts he received, including former clients like Scotia Bank Bahamas Ltd and the US Embassy.
Algernon Allen II, the trial prosecutor, suggested that a sentence of five to seven years would be more appropriate in accordance with case and statute law as well as the circumstances of the case.
The prosecutor said Tucker failed to plead guilty at the earliest convenience, breached the trust of the victim and that the accused was an adult with more experience and should have known better.
Justice Archer said the Sexual Offences Act and Domestic Violence Act stated that a seven or 14-year sentence could be imposed on an individual who was convicted of the crime for the first or subsequent occasion.
She added, however, that the court’s discretion was wide-ranging and given that he had no previous convictions of a similar nature, was a productive citizen prior to conviction and had a favourable probation report where persons said that his actions were completely out of character, he would be sentenced to five years from the date of conviction.
He was informed of his right to appeal the conviction and sentence to the appellate court.