Woman accused of sexual assault of minor to return to court next week

Karine Gagne at a previous court appearance.

Karine Gagne at a previous court appearance.


Tribune Staff Reporter


A FRENCH-Canadian woman will return to the Magistrate's Court next week for another status hearing concerning her trial in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a minor.

Karine Gagne, 23, of Quebec, Canada, initially appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt facing a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse concerning an alleged incident on January 5 at Great Sturrup Cay with a 15-year-old boy, who cannot legally give consent to have sexual intercourse.

The matter was adjourned to Friday for a status hearing for the Canadian Consulate’s facilitation of her legal representation concerning the charge and for the accused to make contact with family.

However, when the matter was called before Magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux, Gagne was told that another status hearing would be fixed for Monday.

No lawyer or family had appeared for the hearing and Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt was in Freeport, Grand Bahama, for the second city's Opening of the Legal Year ceremony.

Gagne was further remanded to the Department of Correctional Services until her next Magistrate's Court appearance.

Gagne has been charged under Section 11(1)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act, Chapter 99 which reads: “Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above 14 years of age and under 16 years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life.”

Section four of the Act notes that sexual intercourse includes "(a) sexual connection occasioned by any degree of penetration of the vagina of any person or anus of any person, or by the stimulation of the vulva of any person or anus of any person, by or with - (i) any part of the body of another person; or (ii) any object used by another person, except where the penetration or stimulation is carried out for proper medical purposes; and (b) sexual connection occasioned by the introduction of any part of the penis of any person into the mouth of another person, and any reference in this Act to the act of having sexual intercourse includes a reference to any stage or continuation of that act."

The accused was told that she would not be allowed to enter a plea until she is formally arraigned before a judge of the Supreme Court when the matter is forwarded to the higher court through the presentation of a Voluntary Bill of Indictment.

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