A Sandy Bay man was on Wednesday remanded to prison to await his Feb. 29 sentencing for raping a 10-year-old girl when he was 19 years old.
A nine-member mixed jury deliberated for exactly two hours at High Court No. 1, in Kingstown, on Wednesday, before returning guilty verdicts on all three charges against the man, Arion May aka Bafroy.
Justice Richard Floyd ordered that a social inquiry report be prepared ahead of the sentencing.
He also granted Crown Counsel Maria Jackson-Richards’ application that May be remanded into custody, pending sentencing.
May was unrepresented during the trial but the court assigned counsel Carl Williams to cross examine the virtual complainant.
The defendant in sexual offences matters is not allowed to directly cross examine the virtual complainant (VC).
May was convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse (USI) with a girl under the age of 13 and one count of attempted USI with a girl under the age of 13.
He was found guilty of a charge that on a date unknown between Sept. 30, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019, at Magum, Sandy Bay, with intent to commit the offence of USI with a girl under the age of 13, he did an act to the VC which more than mere preparatory to the commission of the offence.
The jury also returned guilty pleas on two counts that on a date unknown between Sept. 30, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019, at Magum, Sandy Bay, he had unlawful sexual intercourse with the VC, she being a girl under the age of 13.
May faces a maximum of life imprisonment, a notional sentence of 30 years.
According to the judge’s summation of the case, the assault came to light after the child’s teacher noticed that she had drawn a picture of a vagina and an erect penis on her desk while doing revisions at school in 2020.
The teacher took the child to the principal’s office and her parents were notified.
The girl later told her mother about the sexual assault, which the man denied.
In her testimony, the girl told the court that there were actually four occasions when May assaulted her — two in 2018, one in 2019 and one in 2020.
However, Justice Floyd told the jury that while the VC gave details of a fourth incident in 2019, this was to be ignored as May was not charged in connection with this.
The girl, who is now 15, testified that she knew about condoms, having learnt about them during her lessons at school. She said that she did not believe that May used a condom during any of the assaults.
May took to the stand on Monday in his defence, telling the court that he had read a number of things in the VC’s statement that were not true.
However, the issues that he raised seemed inconsequential to the case.
Williams, who was sitting at the Bar table, intervened and told May that the allegations were that he had had sex with the child twice and attempted to have sex with her once.
“You are denying the allegation. Tell the court your story, not her story,” the lawyer advised.
“I didn’t molest her,” May told the court. “… I never ever tried or did anything like that — molest her or harass her or anything,” he told the court.
Later during May’s testimony Williams again intervened and advised him to address directly the substance of the allegations against him.
The judge told May that Williams was directing his mind to 2019 and 2020 when allegations were made against him.
“If you have anything to say about those times, go ahead,” the judge told the defendant.
“All I have to say is that I never sexually molested her in any way,” May told the court.
May was cross examined by the prosecutor and at the end of the cross examination, the court granted him an adjournment so he could call another witness.
However, on Tuesday, he told the court, “She said she does not want to be a part of it.”