Deacon, Three Teenage Boys Denied Bail

By Vaughn Davis
The Jamaica Observer
July 13, 2006

Donovan Jones, the deacon of the Dayton Avenue Church of God, and three teenage boys who were Tuesday night charged with the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in the back of a van in April, were yesterday denied bail when they appeared in the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court.

The other accused are Jones Rogers, 18, who allegedly video-recorded the incident, Shamar Morgan, 18, and a 14-year-old young boy, who were both allegedly seen on the tape assaulting the girl.

After acceding to the prosecution's request to have the matter transformed into in-camera proceedings, presiding magistrate Georgianna Fraser cleared the courtroom and listened for approximately one-and-half hours while bail applications were made on behalf of the four accused.

The applications were cut short, however, as Fraser decided that it was necessary for her to view the tape before making any further decisions. A private viewing was then scheduled for 4:00 pm later that evening.

After viewing the tape in the office of Superintendent George Quallo at the Half-Way-Tree Police Station, Fraser then returned the matter to the courtroom where she ruled that all four accused should be denied bail and further remanded into custody.

The 14-year-old accused was ordered to be taken to a juvenile remand centre. The matter is scheduled to return before the courts on July 21.

Jones and Rogers are being represented by attorney Michael Bessick, while Morgan and the 14-year-old accused are being represented by Tom Tavares-Finson.

Jones, Morgan and Rogers are all charged with nine counts of indecent assault, while the 14-year-old accused is facing five charges.

All four have also been charged with three counts of assault with intent to rape, while Morgan and the 14-year-old accused have been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. In addition, Jones and Rogers have been charged with one count of aiding and abetting indecent assault. A charge of cruelty to a child was also slapped on Deacon Jones.

According to a summary of the matter in court documents, the incident stemmed from an altercation between the young girl and the 14-year-old accused, during which he hid her jacket and she took his school bag and hid it under her skirt.

Some time afterwards, on Tuesday, April 25, the young girl was approached by Jones, who had been entrusted by her parents to take her to and from school. Jones, the documents stated, told her that if she did not allow Morgan to fondle her, he would report the incident with the school bag to her school principal.

The young girl, the document said, begged Jones not to allow the 18-year-old into the van, which Jones had driven to pick her up from school, but Morgan was let in and he and the 14-year-old accused went on to grope and fondle the young girl. Though she attempted to get away, Jones, the documents said, urged her to comply, telling her it would all soon be over. This was carried on until the end of the week, with Rogers present on all occasions.

On May 1, 2006, the documents stated, the young girl was again groped and fondled by both Morgan and the 14-year-old accused, with the incident now being recorded by Rogers. This also continued for the remainder of that week, and also on dates that the young girl is now unable to recall, the documents said. During the incident on May 1, the young girl was also hit several times by two of the accused, as she struggled to get away from them, said the court documents.

Furthermore, the documents said that between May 17 and 19, Morgan and the 14-year-old steadily attempted to penetrate the young girl using their fingers, with the 14-year-old being successful. It is also alleged that after Morgan and the 14-year-old accused got off the van, the acts would be continued by Jones and Rogers.

All the acts were recorded on a cellular phone and a video camera which was allegedly given to Rogers by Jones in the young girl's presence, after which they were transferred to a laptop computer. Some time afterwards the laptop began malfunctioning and was given out for repairs. Subsequently, some of the recorded scenes were discovered and then turned over to the media, who then went public with the information.


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