By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
A Freeport man is on trial in the Supreme Court accused of raping and indecently assaulting two young girls who were left in his care.
Jerry Bowe, a resident of Jansel Court, is accused of having sexual intercourse with the virtual complainants who were minors, between the summer of 2014 and March 2015 while at his home.
Justice Estelle Gray Evans is presiding over the matter, which is before a jury of six women and three men. Prosecutor Olivia Blatch, assisted by Takia Spencer, of the Attorney General’s Office, is appearing on behalf of the Crown.
Paul Wallace-Whitfield is representing Bowe.
Both the prosecution and the defense presented their closing arguments on Monday.
According to the evidence, it is alleged that the accused performed oral sex on the two girls, touching them inappropriately in their private parts.
One of the virtual complainants testified that on one occasion the accused put her on the bathroom sink and allegedly rubbed her “bread” - a colloquial term for vagina - put his mouth and tongue in her genitalia and said he was trying to “suck out the juices.”
The other virtual complainant testified that Bowe allegedly kissed her on the lips, slapped her on the hip, and put his tongue in her vagina.
The virtual complainant told the court she was afraid to tell her mother, but instead told a guidance counsellor and her teacher at school what had happened.
She said “she felt like a slave” around the accused, and she was uncomfortable with the things he would do to her.
When she would undress to take a bath, the virtual complainant alleged that the accused would tell her he needed to check her. She recalled the occasion of March 6, 2015 when the accused allegedly made her and the other complainant pull down their underwear and made them turn around so he could look at them.
The virtual complainant alleged that the accused put lotion on his hand and then put his hand down her pants and rubbed her vagina. She also alleged that he sometimes used Vaseline and soap.
Ms Blatch told jurors that both girls were examined by doctor Ryan Perez, who testified that their hymens were still intact, but indicated that a hymen can remain in place depending on the depth of penetration.
“In his expert opinion, if the fingers or penis is inserted in the vagina and there is not full penetration the hymen can remain intact,” she said.
Ms Blatch submitted that the prosecution’s witnesses are credible.
“We satisfy and say that the evidence produced in this trial, that the offences committed and that the evidence met the standard of proof,” she said.
Mr Wallace-Whitfield argued that his client is not guilty of the charges and that there is reasonable doubt present within the prosecution’s evidence.
“The reasonable doubt is more than sufficient in this case to merit an acquittal on both counts,” he told jurors.
He argued that Bowe wanted to ensure that the girls’ personal hygiene was “up to scratch” as sometimes they did not bathe themselves properly and he would exam them for that purpose.
“There is nothing inherently sexual in that,” said Mr Wallace-Whitfield. “By inviting them to turn around one is merely attempting to get a 360 degree visual examination,” he said. “There is no evidence to suggest that any of this conduct amounted to sexual gratification of the accused.”
The attorney said that his client recalled in his evidence that on March 6 he talked to the complainants about the “birds and bees,” and denied touching them.
Mr Wallace-Whitfield alleged that the girls did not like Bowe and made up the story.
He said the medical evidence by Dr Perez was “incredulous” and that while he was an emergency room doctor, he was not a gynaecologist.
He noted that the examination findings of both girls were identical. The medical report indicated that their hymens were intact, that there were no abrasions, scars or discharge in their vaginas.
The attorney said that gynaecologist Paul Ward, a chief medical officer at Rand Memorial Hospital, found that comments in Dr Perez’s report are inconsistent with the allegations.
Mr Wallace-Whitfield also stressed that there is no record of interview by the police, no statement taken or made by Bowe to the police.
The attorney told jurors that the Crown has not proven its case, and asked them to return a verdict of not guilty on both counts.
Justice Evans will deliver her summation in the case at 11am on Tuesday.