Prosecution demands 12 months against 50-year-old defendant – Inappropriate contacts with 11-year old girlPOSTED: 08/17/12 12:08 PM
St. Maarten – Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp demanded 12 months imprisonment against Eliseo C.-G. for inappropriate contacts with an 11-year-old girl and for firearm possession. The defendant’s attorney, mr. Geert Hatzmann, asked the court to acquit his 50-year-old client of the first charge for lack of convincing evidence and to sentence him only for the firearm possession, Judge Tamara Tijhuis will pronounce her verdict on September 6.
The defendant declined to answer questions from Judge Tijhuis and referred to his attorney. The contacts between the defendant and the girl took place between January and April of this year.
The girl’s mother filed a complaint after teachers found a DVD with pornographic images in the girl’s possession. She said she had received it from the defendant, who had told her that she could become an artist and that he was prepared to give her guitar-lessons.
But those lessons turned into something different, if the girl’s statements are to be believed. C.-G. kissed her in her neck, touched her inappropriately and gave her on one occasion $20. He also told her that he would kill her mother and her sister if she ever told anyone about them. To press his point he had shown the girl a handgun and a hunting rifle.
But about half a year before these alleged incidents took place, social workers at the girl’s school started to note her obsessive sexually oriented behavior. She reportedly went to the boy’s bathroom, undressed and asked boys to lie on top of her and to touch her. Later she also reportedly told other kids at school that the defendant was her friend.
“There are also drawings in the file that she made at school and that are not fitting for an 11-year old girl,” Judge Tijhuis noted, without going into the details of these drawings. There are also statements in the file from neighborhood residents claiming that the defendant received a lot of children as young as between 6 and 10 years in his house and that he gave them presents and money.
“This is a delicate case,” prosecutor Van der Wulp said. “We have the complaint made by the mother and we have the statement from the girl. That is in itself not sufficient for a conviction. The question is whether there is enough supporting evidence.”
The prosecutor said that the girl’s claim that she had received money from the defendant is correct. That he kissed her in the neck and that he had touched her also seems clear, based on the defendant’s own statements to the police. For many of the other allegations against the defendant there is not enough evidence, the prosecutor said.
“This is a man who deals with young children in an inappropriate way. There is no real friendship between 11-year-olds and 50-year-old men. Kissing in the neck is not socially acceptable. He abused his knowledge of music to give the girl the impression that he could teach her something.”
Attorney Hatzmann said that his client denies the allegations and for that reason he asked the court for an acquittal. “I have some critical remarks about the girl’s story. But, as the prosecutor correctly pointed out, this is a delicate case and the last thing I want to do is bad-mouthing the girl.”
But Hatzmann maintained that the girl’s statement is implausible and not convincing. “My client suffers from the Peter Pan-syndrome. He still feels that he is a kid, and he has trouble maintaining contacts with adults. But with children it clicks. He is fond of their uncomplicated character. And yes, school children come to his house and he calls them his friends, he gives them presents, and he lets them eat ice cream, he hugs them exuberantly and he kisses them every now and then. But he is not aware of any wrongdoing and he flat-out denies any sexual connotation.”
mr. Hatzmann says that his client admits it is possible that he has playfully touched the girl’s breasts. “But that is not an admission of guilt.”
The attorney said that people in the neighborhood gossip a lot about his client. There is for instance the incorrect claim that is HIV-infected. The truth is, Hatzmann says, that his client suffers from diabetes. “His behavior has nonetheless caused quite a stir, but the statements about him are unreliable and cannot be used as evidence.
mr. Hatzmann furthermore pointed to the sexually obsesses behavior the girl had displayed already half a year earlier at school. “It is quite possible that her fantasy got the better of her