One victim just 3 years old – Prosecution wants jail time for abusing young sisters

POSTED: 03/14/13 12:21 PM

St. Maarten – Prosecutor Georges van den Eshof demanded prison sentences of 40 and 36 months in the Court in First Instance yesterday against two brothers for sexually abusing their two sisters of 10 and 3 years old. Judge Tamara Tijhuis will pronounce her verdict on Wednesday April 3.

The prosecution demands 40 months imprisonment against the oldest brother, who will turn 21 at the end of August. At the time the alleged sexual abuse started in January 2010, he was just 17. Of the demand 12 months are suspended; the prosecution wants the court to impose 3 years of probation and to place the defendant under supervision of the Rehabilitation Bureau.

The younger brother, now 19 and at the time the abuse started 16, goes for 36 months to jail if it is up to the prosecution, Of this demand, 12 months are suspended, combined with 3 years of probation and supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau.

Attorney Shaira Bommel asked the court to acquit both boys for lack of sufficient legal and convincing evidence.

The boys’ 38-year-old mother has also been charged in this case as an accomplice because she failed to act once she became aware of the abuse. Her case was postponed until June 26 to allow once more time for a psychological evaluation.

The case came to light after the boys’ biological father alerted the authorities after he heard from their mother’s boyfriend what was going on. The boyfriend was interviewed by police but he was later deported because he resided illegally on the island.

The boys had to look after the two girls when their mother was working or sitting somewhere under a tree drinking beer. The mother claimed to police that she had become aware of the abuse by her youngest son, that she talked to him about it every day and that she had warned him she would go to the police if he did not stay clear of his sisters.

While the youngest boy confessed to the police and to the Judge of Instruction that he had had sex with his 3-year old sister, prosecutor Van den Eshof asked the court to acquit him of this charge because there is no other evidence. By law, a conviction is only possible based on at least two pieces of evidence, and in this case the prosecution is unable to meet the minimum requirement.

“I am convinced that both defendants abused their sisters but I also have to prove it,” the prosecutor said.

Psychological and psychiatric evaluations did not bring any disorders to light and the reports conclude that the boys can be held responsible for their actions.

“I take into account that these boys lived in a bad environment where they encountered few corrections. The mother will also have to answer to charges because she did nothing while there were enough signals that something was going on.

The two boys had trouble answering questions from Judge Tijhuis; they mumbled their answers if they were forthcoming at all. They basically denied all charges and a lot of the time they remained silent with bowed heads.

Attorney Bommel noted that the reports about the two boys were exactly the same.”My impression is that this is cut and paste work,” she said. Attorney Bommel asked the court to acquit both defendants for lack of evidence.


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