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Duo Cleared Of 2013 Sexual Assault Allegation

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

TWO men have been cleared by a Supreme Court jury of sexual assault allegations concerning an American visitor.

Dino Bethel, and Parron Knowles, both 23, faced a count of unlawful sexual intercourse with the then 15-year-old that allegedly occurred on August 5, 2013.

Both men maintained not guilty pleas when their trial before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs began on June 13.

The complainant, now 19, alleged that she was drugged before she was sexually assaulted by the pair. She told a nine-member jury that she was able to walk back to her hotel after she had escaped her assailants’ car.

She also testified that the men offered her a “pink drink” at Anthony’s Bar and Grill shortly before she started losing consciousness.

Notwithstanding the state of being in and out of consciousness, she saw the men assaulting her, she also said.

The jury heard testimony from a worker at the hotel who said the young woman appeared under the influence before she made the rape claim while the complainant’s mother testified that her child did not appear to be acting her usual self.

No semen was found on vaginal swabs taken from the alleged victim, according to ASP Sheria King of the Royal Bahamas Police Force forensic lab.

Both accused men admitted to socialising with the complainant but denied anything beyond that occurred.

On Wednesday afternoon, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts.

Wellington Olander and Jomo Campbell appeared for the accused men.

Darnelle Dorsett prosecuted the case.

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