PHILIPSBURG–A 48-year-old man from the Dominican Republic stood trial Wednesday on allegations that he had been in a sexual relationship with a minor girl.
The defendant did not deny that he had been in a relationship with the girl from May 2014, when she was 13 years old. He said the girl had told him she was 17, going to be 18, and he believed her. She had also told him that she had been with men older than him, he told the Court. He also said the sexual intercourse had been consensual.
The Court of Guardianship filed the case after it emerged that the girl, who was on drugs and alcohol, had a relationship with an older man. “Someone 46 years old should not go to bed with a 13-year-old girl,” the Judge told the defendant, who is a father of 10.
He also made the girl pregnant. He informed the Court that he wanted to continue his relationship with the girl and take care of her and her child.
The defendant did not break up, also after meeting the girl’s mother, who had informed him that her daughter was, in fact, almost 14 years old.
The Prosecutor said the defendant should have investigated the victim’s real age. “He knew that she was considerably younger than him,” the Prosecutor said.
Considering that the victim will not be turning 16 until in September, the Prosecution objected to the Parole Board’s advice that the defendant take care of the girl and their child.
The Prosecutor said the defendant failed to see that he deserved punishment for his acts and demanded a prison sentence of three years, one of which was to be suspended, on three years’ probation, with Parole Board guidance.
Attorney-at-law Geert Hatzmann said he was “shocked” as he fundamentally differed of opinion with the Prosecutor.
He said the Parole Board had said the defendant had a good influence on the underage girl and had provided her with a “stable situation.”
“The girl does not consider herself a victim. She wants my client to come home. We should not complicate matters for her,” he said.
Hatzmann said his client had made a mistake, but “should my client be sent to Pointe Blanche as a sex offender, thereby disintegrating his family?” That would be a bad idea, the lawyer said.
He primarily pleaded with the Court to declare the Prosecutor’s Office inadmissible in its case against his client, or to impose a fully conditional sentence optionally with a contact prohibition.
The Court will give its decision April 26.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64990-older-man-on-trial-for-sex-with-underage-girl