Trinidad & Tobago native Andre Stedman has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for raping a minor a few years ago.
The former security officer who is in his late 50s was also slapped with a 12-month prison sentence for indecent assault. His sentences are to run concurrently (at the same time).
In handing down the sentence on Friday, Justice Ann-Marie Smith said the aggravating factors of the case outweighed the mitigating ones.
She said his continuous denial of the offences, the apparent abuse of trust, the fact that the offences took place in the complainant’s bedroom, the threats that Stedman allegedly made, coupled with the negative impact on the minor were considered as aggravating.
The court also heard that the minor, who was 13 years old at the time of the rape, has considered harming herself since the incident.
This is according to the victim’s handwritten witness impact statement which was read in court.
The court heard that the minor had difficulties focusing on her school work, often felt ‘weak’, and became uncomfortable among her peers.
It was at that point she decided to report the rape to her parents and subsequently, the police, the court further heard.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that on the day in question, Stedman met the rape victim’s stepfather at their family home for a social meet-up.
The two men then proceeded to watch sports on television while the young lady remained in her bedroom.
Sometime later that night, the stepfather went to bed while Stedman fell asleep on the couch. The court heard that at some point during the night, the victim exited her bedroom and noticed Stedman sleeping. She subsequently returned to bed.
Later that night, the young woman was awakened by Stedman on top of her. He had penetrated her, the court heard.
The matter was reported to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Stedman was charged.
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