Mother gets suspended sentence for complicity to sexual assault

POSTED: 10/11/13 2:06 PM

St. Maarten – A 38-year-old mother who stood trial in June for complicity to sexual assault on two of her daughters by two of her sons received a significantly lower sentence yesterday than the prosecution had demanded.

In June, the prosecution demanded 10 months imprisonment, with 6 months suspended and 3 years of probation, but Judge Tamara Tijhuis wanted to see a psychological evaluation of the woman before rendering judgment.

Yesterday morning the defendant was scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. but she did not show up. Efforts were made to locate her and bring her to the courthouse and at 10 a.m. the case went ahead.

The psychological evaluation shows that the woman – a mother of ten children – is in a state of diminished accountability. For this reason, Judge Tijhuis deviated sharply from the prosecution’s demand and sentenced the woman to a completely suspended 10-month prison sentence with 3 years of probation.

In March the court acquitted both boys of raping their sisters for lack of evidence; it sentenced the oldest boy to 15 months imprisonment (with 3 months suspended) and ordered his immediate release on the day of the verdict because he had already spent 13 months in pretrial custody. The younger brother was acquitted of all charges even though he had confessed to the police that he had had sex with his 3-year-old sister. Because there is no supporting evidence, the court had no other option than to acquit.

Ten months ago the defendant gave birth to her tenth child. The two boys and the two girls that became the victims of their sexual assaults have been placed elsewhere.

The mother claimed in June that she did not know anything about the sexual interactions between her two sons and her daughters – of which the youngest was just 3 years old.

Her ex-boyfriend however told the police that the mother did know about it –because one of the daughters had told him so – and said she would go to the police – but she never did.



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