Man acquitted of improper sexual contacts with girl

POSTED: 01/31/14 1:10 AM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance acquitted a 43-year-old defendant yesterday of improper sexual contacts with the young daughter of his (now former) girlfriend. The prosecution demanded 12 months imprisonment, with 6 months suspended, 3 years of probation and 200 hours of community service. The defendant denied all charges.

The charges relate to events that supposedly took place between March and June on 2012. The underage girl accused her mother’s boyfriend of kissing her while she was sleeping, of touching her breast and of telling her that he wanted to see her naked.

The father of the girl, a policeman, filed a complaint after he heard the story. He told investigators that he had noticed changes in his daughter’s behavior. She was withdrawn and started to disappear into her room directly after returning home from school.

The defendant had no answer to Judge Koos van de Ven’s question why the girl would accuse him of something g he claims not to have done.

Prosecutor Tineke Kamps considered the charges proven, based on the statements of the girl and her mother. Attorney Janna Westra however, pointed out that in her opinion kissing is not a form of sexual behavior, that her client denies the charges and that there is no supporting evidence for a conviction. She also said that the statements of the mother and the daughter are inconsistent and unreliable and she asked the court to acquit her client.

The court obliged but on slightly different grounds. The summons charged the defendant with committing sexual acts under the threat of violence, but the court considered this not proven. Committing indecent acts with somebody who is sleeping falls under a different article in the law than the one mentioned in the summons. The court therefore saw no other option than to acquit the defendant.

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