GEORGETOWN –– A pastor has been convicted for raping a six-year-old girl. The incident took place between June 1 and June 30, 2007.
The initial facts of the case are that the man was at home with the girl and her sibling, when the act was committed.
He called the child into a bedroom where he sexually penetrated her. The child later confided in her mother but the mother disbelieved her. The child later confided in another relative and the matter was reported to the police. The accused was subsequently arrested and charged.
After more than two hours of deliberations at the High Court in Georgetown yesterday, a mixed 12-member jury returned a guilty verdict in relation to Josiah Baptiste for the offence of carnal knowledge. The verdict was unanimous.
Baptiste stood silently in the docks and wore a blank expression on his face as the verdict was announced by the jury at around 3 p.m. His family members who were also at the hearing appeared shocked at the outcome; some had wept silently in anticipation of the sentence by the Court.
The man was represented by attorneys-at-law, Folio Richards and Maxwell Mc Kay.
Attorney Richards was present yesterday as the verdict was handed down. She requested a probation report be conducted on her client before he is sentenced.
Her request was acceded to by Judge Joann Barlow. The judge, therefore, adjourned the matter to April 24 for sentencing and informed Baptiste that his bail has been revoked.
The jury was empanelled to oversee his trial before Justice Barlow on Wednesday last.
The case was prosecuted by State Attorneys, Shawnette Austin, Tamieka Clarke, and Mandel Moore. The Prosecution called several witnesses to the stand, including the victim.