No Bail for Deacon
By Daraine Luton and Keisha Hill
July 13, 2006
Former Deacon of the Church of Dayton Diamond Ridge, Donovan Jones, and the three teenage boys implicated in the sexual molestation case of a 13-year-old girl, will spend the next eight days in jail.
Resident Magistrate Georgiana Fraser yesterday denied the four bail after viewing a DVD containing scenes of the young girl's assault. The accused will return to court on July 21.
The hearing took place in camera at the Half-Way Tree Resident Magistrate Court. RM Fraser spent more than two hours hearing bail applications after which she requested to see a copy of the offending tape before making a decision.
Jones, 46, is charged with nine counts of indecent assault, three counts of assault with intent to rape, one count of cruelty to a child, one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one count of aiding and abetting indecent assault.
If convicted, Jones faces up to nine years in prison as three of the charges attract two-year sentences. The charge of cruelty to a child carries a three-year jail term.
James Rodgers, 18, is charged with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of assault with intent to rape and aiding and abetting indecent assault.
The two minors are facing charges of indecent assault, assault with intent to rape and assault occasioning bodily harm.
Allegations are that the ex-deacon blackmailed the schoolgirl after she committed a trivial act. She is reported to have hid a bag belonging to one of the minors under her skirt. A complaint was made to Jones, who subsequently told her that he would report the incident to the school's principal if the girl did not allow one of the minors to fondle her.
The sexual molestation began on April 25 and lasted for at least one month.
The child's mother is reported to have suspected that something was wrong on one occasion when she noticed the girl's school blouse crushed. However, when the mother questioned her daughter about it in Jones' presence, Jones reportedly gave the mother an explanation which she accepted.
Police were alerted last week by The Gleaner which had received a copy of the tape from a member of Jones' church, dissatisfied with how the church was dealing with the matter.
However, it was a malfunctioning laptop computer that brought the matter to light. The computer, which contained the images and belonged to Rodgers, a Haitian/American citizen and grandson of church founder Ruby Kelly, was given out to be fixed when the video was found. The videotaping of the molestation is said to have been done by Rodgers.
Attorney-at-law Tom Tavares-Finson is representing one of the minors while Paul Beswick is representing Jones and Rodgers.
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