By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAGISTRATE is set to determine the fate of a 25-year-old man who was accused of kissing a ten-year-old girl on the lips during a game of spin the bottle nearly two years ago.
Brian Johnson first appeared before Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans charged with the indecent assault of the young child in June 2019. At the time, he denied the allegation and the matter was adjourned for trial.
During the course of the proceedings, the child’s mother, the minor and the interviewing officer gave evidence for the prosecution, while Johnson called his sister to the stand to testify on his behalf.
Yesterday, the accused and the prosecution offered their closing arguments in the matter.
The court heard the child’s mother knew Johnson because they lived in the same neighbourhood and would sometimes play dominoes together. When she testified last month, she said she did not give the defendant permission to touch her daughter at any time.
During his submissions, prosecutor Kendrick Bauld also noted the child and her mother had told officers and the court that she was approached by Johnson while playing a game with other young children. He said the then ten-year-old also testified that Johnson had stopped them in the middle of their game and said he was changing the rules of spin the bottle so that the “girls could kiss the boys”. Sergeant Bauld said at that point, the bottle landed on Johnson and the little girl, so he kissed her on her lips, which he stated made the young child “feel bad”.
The court was told after the child’s mother reported the incident, Johnson was arrested. When officers arranged a confrontation between Johnson and his accusers, the little girl maintained her story.
During his closing arguments yesterday, Johnson maintained his innocence. He claimed the little girl’s mother “told a lie” and said on the day in question, he was at work when his sisters came to his job and told him he had to “come home now”. He said when he asked them why, his older sister stated: “You ain’t know what they trying to jick on you now eh (sic)?”
The defendant said he then told his boss that he would be back in 30 minutes and left for home. He said when he arrived there, he was arrested.
Insisting he never indecently assaulted the young child he stated: “They say I touch the little girl and kiss her on her lips which was a lie.”
After listening to arguments from both sides, Magistrate Vogt-Evans adjourned the matter to June 24 to deliver her decision.