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Dad, 71, guilty of sex abuse

UNITED: Joan Green, Judith Scoot, Jacquelin Houston, Jacquelin Green (niece in hand) and Julin Everette pose outside the Buff Bay Court House in 2009 when their father was brought to court for the first time

A SENIOR citizen who sexually molested his 50-year-old stepdaughter when she was four years old is to be sentenced on July 21 for indecent assault.

A seven-member jury found the 71-year-old man guilty of the offence.

He was also charged with four counts of carnal abuse which allegedly took place when the woman was between four years and 15 years but the jury freed him of those charges.

The complainant hugged her sister and they both wept openly in court yesterday when their stepfather was convicted.

Supreme Court judge Jennifer Straw, who presided at the trial, extended the man's bail.

The main witnesses for the prosecution were the complainant and her sister who testified that she witnessed some of the incidents.

The Crown, represented by assistant director of public prosecutions Maxine Jackson, led evidence at the trial in the St Mary Circuit Court.

After living overseas for several years, the complainant returned to Jamaica in 2006 and made a report to the police in 2007.

The stepfather, who lives in Portland, was arrested and charged.

NOTHING DONE

The complainant said she had reported the incidents of sexual molestation to an adult relative but nothing was done.

Following an application by Queen's Counsel Glen Cruickshank, the case was transferred from the Portland Circuit Court to the St Mary Circuit Court because he said his client would not receive a fair trial in Portland.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn commended the prosecutor for the professional and efficient manner in which she handled the case. Llewellyn said it was not an easy task to prosecute such a case given the lapse of time in reporting the case to the police.

"This case is a positive reinforcement of the fact that notwithstanding the lapse of time, the justice system still works," Llewellyn said. She said although the complainant waited for a long time before making the report, she renewed her focus because she felt she had to get justice.

Llewellyn said there was no time limit in law in which to report criminal matters.

The women's ordeal first came to public attention in May 2009 when their story was featured in The Sunday Gleaner.

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