Sex-Deacon Case Takes New Turn
Two Youths Plead Guilty to Indecent Assault on 13-Year-Old Girl
By Vaughn Davis
The Jamaica Observer
July 22, 2006
The sensational case of sexual assault on a teenaged girl, involving an officer of the Church Dayton Diamond Ridge, took a new turn yesterday when two of the youths charged along with 46-year-old Deacon Donovan Jones changed their plea to guilty.
At the in camera trial in the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court, Shamar Morgan, 18, and the 14-year-old accused both pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault on the 13-year-old girl, occurring on the dates April 27, April 28, May 1 and May 2.
Both young men are scheduled to be sentenced on September 8.
Presiding magistrate Judith Pusey also granted Morgan and the 14-year-old youth bail in the sum of $100,000 each, accepting their parents as surety. Both were also required to surrender their travel documents, and to report to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between the hours of 6:00am and 6:00pm.
As a special condition, both were also told to stay away from the complainant, her family and her place of residence. A social enquiry report was requested for the two young men.
But for Deacon Jones and the fourth accused, James Rogers, also 18, who allegedly video-recorded the sexual assault on the schoolgirl, both were further remanded in custody, and are scheduled to return to court on July 25.
Attorney Michael Beswick who represents Jones and Rogers, attempted yesterday to make a bail application on behalf of his clients, but it was cut short by Judge Pusey on the grounds that Beswick had begun bail applications for the men before Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser, and so should continue them before that judge.
Morgan is represented by attorney-at-law George Clue, while the 14-year-old accused is represented by Peter Champagnie and Tom Tavares-Finson.
The case drew national attention after the assault recorded on a cellular phone and a video camera was exposed by the media, triggering widespread outrage and condemnation of the Church Dayton.
Last week Jones, Morgan and Rogers were all charged with nine counts of indecent assault, while the 14-year-old accused faced five charges.
All four were also charged with three counts of assault with intent to rape, while Morgan and the 14-year-old were charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.
Jones and Rogers were additionally charged with one count of aiding and abetting indecent assault. A further charge of cruelty to a child was also slapped on Deacon Jones.
In addition to those previous charges, all four have been charged with carnal abuse, while Jones and Rogers were further charged with aiding and abetting carnal abuse.
Yesterday, after Morgan and the 14-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault, the prosecution opted not to offer further evidence against them on the other charges. Jones and Rogers are still, however, facing prosecution for the full charges listed.
According to court documents, on Tuesday, April 25, the young girl was approached by Deacon Jones, who had been entrusted by her parents to take her to and from school in a van. Jones told her that if she did not allow Morgan to fondle her, he would tell the principal of her school about an altercation between her and the 14-year-old boy.
The young girl, the document said, begged Jones not to allow Morgan into the van, which the deacon 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 frightened 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 young girl was again groped and fondled by both Morgan and the 14-year-old accused, with the incident now being recorded by Rogers, according to the document. This also continued for the remainder of that week, and also on dates that the young girl is now said to be unable to recall. 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.
Further, 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.
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