Appeals Court confirms rape-conviction

POSTED: 10/25/13 12:02 PM

St. Maarten – Nothing changed in the sentence Emanuel Velasquez, 33, received in the Court in First Instance on September 5 of last year for raping an illegal woman in the night from December 30 to 31, 2009, at the Travel Inn in Simpson Bay. The Common Court of Justice sentenced Velasquez this week again to 48 months imprisonment; of the sentence, 12 months are suspended. The court imposed 2 years of probation.

The defendant robbed his victim of her freedom by locking her up in the hotel room. He kept her there for a day and a night and raped her several times. He also ill-treated the woman.

The defense said at the time that the victim had gone voluntarily with Velasquez to the hotel and that she had agreed to have sex. She also had several opportunities to leave the hotel room, the defense noted, adding that the statements made by the victim are inconsistent and unreliable.

The court had a different opinion: it considers the statements made by the victim reliable. Velasquez kept the woman prisoner by threatening her that he would go to the police and that she then would be deported. “The defendant created an atmosphere whereby the victim did not dare to leave the room,” the court ruled.

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