The distribution via social media of an intimate act between two senior people has been deemed as a “serious breach of trust” and simply “reckless”.
Over the past few days, three videos of an older woman have been making the rounds on WhatsApp accompanied by several voice notes. In one video the woman was seen performing fellatio.
Today 62-year-old Ricardo Austin Agard, of Block 4A Nursery Close, Eden Lodge, St Michael admitted to sending the videos via a cellular phone which caused the woman alarm and were indecent and intended to cause or were reckless in causing annoyance, inconvenience, distress or anxiety to the woman. He committed the act between August 25 and September 3.
The woman who is 63-years-old was involved in an intimate relationship with Agard which began late last year and ended in July this year. According to the facts read by Sergeant Kevin Forde during the relationship the complainant consented to a request by Agard to record an intimate act. The relationship eventually turned sour and Agard threatened to release the videos in the public domain if the woman ever left him.
The two eventually parted ways but when Agard came across her in a public place on September 3 he asked for them to reunite but she refused to, resulting in an argument. Later that same night the woman began receiving telephone calls and messages from relatives and friends alerting her about the video making the rounds with her in a compromising position. The news, the prosecutor related, caused the woman “great alarm and distress” and she reported the matter.
“Through the shame associated with the incident, the complainant was devastated and has not been able to leave home since,” Forde revealed as he read from the police report.
However, in mitigating on Agard’s behalf attorney-at-law Neville Reid told Magistrate Graveney Bannister that his client who is a watchman “accidentally” sent the videos to another person who then distributed it. The lawyer said based on his instructions Agard was attempting to transfer the videos to another phone when it was sent unintentionally.
But the magistrate raised concerns about the timing of the videos’ release stating that they did not come before the relationship was over.
“It has more than one step to take to hit send on a message. So he was reckless! Reckless! Reckless!” the magistrate stated as he pointed to the damage such an act would have on the complainant and even Agard.
The attorney agreed saying, “This is a hurtful situation because once it is out in cyberspace you can’t recall it.”
Reid also admitted that his client knew that it was an offence and when he realised that the videos were in the public domain he contacted the complainant immediately and apologised.
“I am very sorry, this hurt me deeply,’ Agard said in his own defence admitting that it was three videos that were out on social media. “I contacted her and told her I was sorry.”
The magistrate then informed the defence that such an offence carried a $10,000 fine and or 12 months in prison.
Reid, however, pointed out that his client was in an “impecunious” situation as he worked for $500 every fortnight as a watchman and was responsible for his aging mother.
Agard was fined $4,000 to be paid on or before March 31, 2020. If he defaults on the payment he will spend six months in prison. He was also given a three-month sentence which has been suspended for a year.
“I can guarantee you that it will not happen again,” Agard said as he left the court.