Rohan Daniels was late yesterday afternoon sentenced to two concurrent life sentences behind bars, after a jury convicted him of sexually penetrating a young girl.
The assault on the now 14-year-old girl, started at age 10.
The 12-member mixed jury convicted Daniels on two of four counts of rape after about three hours of deliberations.
In a proportion of 11-1, they found him guilty of penetrating the child’s vagina between April 12 and 13, 2014 when she was ten years old.
Then, in a proportion of 10-2, they found Daniels guilty of again vaginally penetrating the young girl on July 23, 2016.
He was unanimously acquitted on a third count and found not guilty in a proportion of 9-3 on the second of the four rape counts.
There initially seemed to have been some confusion when the foreman announced the verdicts, but after consulting with the rest of the jury, they all confirmed that the correct announcement had been made.
When given a chance to speak, the expressionless convict said, “I would like to say that I’m innocent of this act.”
The court heard from the child’s relative, who said that the young girl had prepared a victim impact statement which she wanted read to the court.
The relative, who is also her support person, read to the court from the statement, of the child relating being unhappy since the abuse and her fear of especially being around males.
The court heard that the child had previously contemplated suicide and to that end, has inflicted cuts about her body.
The court heard of difficulties the child has focusing on her academics and fears of entering adulthood and even one day having a family of her own; even as she sometimes feels as though there is no future for her.
The child who called for the judge to punish the rapist, said that even if he were to be set free, “he will be punished by God for what he has done to me.”
The statement ended with the child’s relative conveying that the young girl wanted a message to be spent to other men out there, “that when they see people girl-children, they must leave them alone.”
Sexual Offences Court Judge, Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, explained that her sentencing was guided after considering the nature and circumstances under which the offences were committed.
She told the convict that he had abused a position of trust when he violated the child, as her mother went out to work in a bid to provide for the home.
Recalling his acts, the judge noted that on one occasion, Daniels raped the child as she slept near her siblings.
With no show of remorse, nor respect for the verdict of his peers, Justice Morris-Ramlall said she found no basis to exercise mercy in not imposing the maximum sentence of life.
In the circumstances, she sentenced the convict to two life sentences which she said will run concurrently.
She thereafter ordered that he is to serve 40 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.
The state’s case was led by Prosecutor Seeta Bishundial, in association with state attorneys Shawnette Austin and Orinthia Schmidt.
The trial proceedings were held in-camera at the Sexual Offences Court of the Georgetown High Court.