By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO teens who admitted they were wrong to participate in the filming and publishing of the indecent assault of a 19-year-old girl could face three years in prison when they return to court for sentencing next week.
Shanton Forbes, 18, and a 16-year-old boy, both of Yellow Elder Gardens, appeared before Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans facing two counts of voyeurism and a charge of indecent assault concerning a video showing a nude gitl being harassed by a group of males that was circulated on social media. The 16-year-old cannot be named because he is a juvenile.
It is alleged that the offences occurred between April 1 and May 8.
Both teens pleaded guilty to the three charges.
Police prosecutor Corporal Claudia McKenzie told the magistrate that the victim’s father went to police on May 9 to lodge a complaint after seeing a video sent to him by his sister.
He told police the video showed his daughter naked, being dragged and tortured by a number of boys in a building with which he was unfamiliar.
“The (complainant) was interviewed and she stated that about a month ago, she was walking from Yellow Elder Park with a (female) friend, the friend’s brother, male cousins and another male friend,” the prosecutor said.
“When they arrived in the area of the (water) pump, the males dragged her under the pump and soaked her,” the prosecutor said.
“She noticed one of the males called ‘China’ started to record it on his Samsung phone. Her friend told the males to ‘ease up’ and they stopped. Her friend took her inside to dry off and gave her clothes to change. However, the bathroom did not have a door. She was the only one in the house,” the court heard.
Moments later, the complainant’s female friend and the boys entered the house where the boys then began to harass her, though they did not touch her breasts or vagina, the prosecutor said.
“During the incident, her (female) friend was in the front room laughing,” the prosecutor added.
Sergeant 1492 Dale Strachan downloaded the video and a team of officers went to Yellow Elder to photograph the scene of the alleged incident.
The 18-year-old accused was questioned by police about his involvement and he admitted to taking a picture. However, he denied video recording what occurred. The 16-year-old accused reportedly admitted to being present at the time, the court was told.
When the 16 year old was asked if he agreed with the facts read by the prosecutor, the minor said he did not recall telling the police he was involved.
However, he maintained that he did commit the three offences.
Magistrate Vogt-Evans, after accepting their guilty pleas and formally convicting them, asked the oldest teen if he wished to say anything.
“I am sorry for what I’ve done and I accept my punishment,” Forbes said.
Addressing the minor, the judge asked if he wished to say anything.
“I apologise for what I did. What I did was wrong. I apologise to the family of the young girl for having the video all over the place,” the juvenile said.
Magistrate Vogt-Evans asked to see the 50-second video clip, noting she was unaware of the occurrence.
While viewing the clip, the minor hung his head while the 18-year-old looked away from the magistrate.
The judge asked: “This was the two of you touching her, trying to pull her leg open?”
Both teens said “no”.
The magistrate asked the elder teen if he worked. Forbes said he worked part-time in various trades, including masonry, mechanics and landscaping after dropping out of high school.
The minor is in the 10th grade and claimed he is due to retake his BJC examinations at the end of the month.
The judge asked: “You see what you took part in? How would you like it if your mother was the one this happened to?”
“I wouldn’t like it at all,” Forbes said.
“You mean you couldn’t find something better to do? What could’ve been going on in your head? Did you ever apologise to her?” the magistrate then asked.
Responding to the last question, both said they did and acknowledged her subsequent statement that this incident “could stay with her (the complainant) for the rest of her life.”
“This court has no toleration for that kind of behaviour,” Magistrate Vogt-Evans said.
She adjourned sentencing to May 18 as she wished to be fully informed on the convicts’ social background due to one of them being a minor.
Forbes was remanded to the Department of Correctional Services and the minor to the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.