T&T man gets 57 years for raping daughter

(Trinidad Guardian) A father was sentenced yesterday to a total of 57 years in prison with hard labour for having sex on three occasions with his young daughter and sexually assaulting her. The 42-year-old former Caroni (1975) Ltd worker remained stone-faced when Justice Devan Rampersad imposed the sentences on him at the San Fernando Fourth Criminal Court. He, however, will only serve 20 years since the judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently. The father of three was found guilty by a nine-member jury on Monday of committing three counts of incest and one count of grievous sexual assault on his daughter when she was 11 and 13 years old.

The father was also accused of committing grievous sexual assault against his other daughter, who was nine, but he was found not guilty. During his submissions yesterday, attorney Michael Rooplal, in answer to the judge, said the father had not instructed him to express any remorse on his behalf for committing the sex crimes against his daughter. Among the aggravating factors, the judge noted, was that while he was on bail for the first three offences in 2003, he again had sex with his daughter.

In 2005 he went to his wife’s mother’s home, where she had been staying with the children, and had sex with the girl who was then 13 years old.  But this time, the judge said, he placed a pillow on her head during sex. His family had moved to the grandmother’s house to get away from him, the judge said. In addition the judge noted he had also breached a protection order, taken out by his wife in 2003, and was fined. In outlining a long list of aggravating factors, Shabala Shah, the prosecutor, submitted the accused had threatened to kill his daughter if she told anyone.

She said he had exhibited deviant sexual behaviour and the public at large, as well as his family, must be protected. The judge said there were no personal mitigating factors, but he took into consideration that the father had been in prison awaiting trial since 2006 and was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition. The judge also invited the Prison Service to enroll him in counselling and rehabilitation programmes if those   existed in prison. The father was sentenced to 20 years on the incest charge in which he used the pillow, 15 years each on the other incest charges and seven years on the sexual assault offence.

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