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Judge Orders Removal Of Monitor On Man Cleared Of Trafficking

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A JUDGE yesterday ordered the removal of the electronic monitoring device of a man whose acquittal on human trafficking charges is being challenged by the Crown.

Terrance Williams appeared before Justice Bernard Turner for a variation of the bail conditions that had been imposed last year while he awaited the conclusion of trial concerning the alleged trafficking and harbouring of five women for sexual exploitation in January 2015.

Williams, Michael Parilla, and Mariska Williams were cleared of nearly a dozen human trafficking related charges in Magistrate’s Court in May when Magistrate Constance Delancy read the decision of then trial magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.

The prosecution had asked for a stay of the decision pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Williams had filed an application to the Supreme Court for a variation of his bail conditions that would make it easier for him to travel.

In yesterday’s hearing, prosecutor Viola Barnett had no objection to the removal of the electronic monitoring device but asked that the other conditions remain in place.

Justice Turner granted the application to remove the ankle bracelet and told Williams that if he wished to travel, he would have to seek the court’s permission.

At trial, the five complainants did not appear to give evidence concerning the allegations against the three accused. However, their statements to police were allowed into the record through Section 66 of the Evidence Act, which gives the court the discretion to allow the statements of witnesses who are dead, cannot be found, or are too sick to testify into evidence.

The statements revealed that the five women knowingly came to the Bahamas to engage in exotic dancing but were not brought to the capital by the accused.

Though they claimed that they were not allowed to leave the apartment where they stayed unaccompanied, there were no claims of their passports being taken from them or being forced to have sex with anyone against their will.

The presiding trial magistrate had found that the Crown had not made out a sufficient case to warrant a conviction.

The three accused were represented by Tonique Lewis and Keith Seymour.

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