Community service for statutory rape



Source Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced O’Brien Etienne Mathilda last week to a 1-month conditional prison sentence and 80 hours of community service for statutory rape. In July, the 23-year defendant had sex with a girl who was just 12 years of age.

Mathilda freely admitted that he had had sex with the girl. “Yes sir,” he told the court, “But I did not know she was under age. I thought she was 16. It never crossed my kind to ask her how old she was; she behaved very mature.”

Prosecutor Maarten Noordzij said that the defendant should have known better. He demanded a 1-month conditional prison sentence and 150 hours of community service.

Attorney Sjamira Roseburg told the court that, based on photos the girl placed on Facebook, it was easy to believe she was 16 or even 18. “My client did not have a single reason to question her age. This girl was in Anguilla on August Monday; which parent allows a 12-year old child to go abroad alone?”

The attorney also noted that the sexual intercourse had taken place outside the dates mentioned in the summons, but Judge Gruijters dismissed the argument.

“The threshold for guilt in these cases is very low,” he noted, admitting that the girl looked older than twelve based on her behavior and the photos. “But she was not older,” he added drily. “Though this is not a case of horrible sexual abuse.”