Man gets sentenced to 12 years on appeal for rape, robbery and assault

PHILIPSBURG–The Court of Appeals, on Tuesday, convicted and sentenced Rolandito O.N. Richardson (31) to twelve years for raping, robbing, assaulting and extorting several women ages 19 to 67 years, between February 27, 2016 and April 27, 2016. He also was ordered to pay damages.

Two women Richardson raped and robbed after should receive NAf. 15,000 in damages, the Joint Court stated in the verdict, which largely confirmed the Court of First Instance’s decisions in this case.

Richardson denied any involvement in the crimes during the investigations. He only confessed that he had had sexual intercourse with a 19-year-old woman during Jouvert Morning, April 27, 2016, but claimed it was consensual.

The crimes committed took place in the early morning hours in the vicinity of Front and Back Streets in Philipsburg, and in one case in Belair.

Several victims were robbed of pieces of jewellery and small amounts of money and mistreated by Richardson. The violence ranged from punching in the face to the pulling of hair, strangulation, kicking and threatening with a knife.

“I am going to kill you if you don’t give me money. I am going to kill you if you scream,” he had told one of his victims before ordering her to take her clothes off.

“Don’t look at me or try to make any funny moves, or scream, or else I will slit your throat,” he had told another.

Richardson had filed for appeal as he did not agree with the sentence. After he had heard the Appeals Court pronounce its verdict Richardson left the courtroom while shaking his head.

The defendant denied the allegations, but in nearly all the incidents did the victims recognise him as their assailant on video surveillance-camera images. He was also recognised on Police photos of suspects.

Richardson’s lawyer Marlon Hart has stated that his client should be acquitted and the victims’ statements dismissed, as these were insufficiently reliable, but the Court did not follow these pleadings.

The Court also found the Jouvert Morning rape proven, as traces of the defendant’s DNA were found on the victim’s genitalia.

The Court of Appeals found it proven that in three months’ time Richardson had attacked several women on the streets without any reason. “In the early morning of February 27, 2016, he robbed and raped a 62-year-old woman. A couple of hours later he mistreated a 66-year-old woman. On March 27, 2016, he did the same to a 35-year-old woman, and on April 27, 2016, he hit again when he pulled a 19-year-old woman into an alley and brutally raped her,” the Court stated.

When he committed these crimes Richardson was a free man for little more than a year. In Anguilla, he was sentenced to eight years for rape on March 16, 2009. He was released in November 2014.

According to the Royal Anguilla Police, Richardson, who was born in St. Maarten, has been known to the Anguilla Police since 2002. “Row,” as he is nicknamed, has been in and out of Her Majesty’s Prison for the past 10 years.

“He initially started out with minor thefts and non-violent crimes, which over the years escalated. From 2007 his modus operandi turned to house breaking, aggravated burglary and rapes where he targeted private villas and tourists as his victims. He would carry out these acts on several nearby locations in one night, sometimes three or four within five hours. In 2007, he was arrested and charged for robbery, rape and burglary,” the Anguilla Police stated.

Source: The Daily Herald