Deacon's Stay in Jail Extended

By Daraine Luton
Jamaic Gleaner
July 29, 2006

Donovan Jones, the former Dayton Avenue church deacon, who is at the centre of the sexual molestation offence against a 14-year-old Corporate Area schoolgirl, yesterday had his stay in jail extended until September 8.

Mr. Jones, 46, was ordered remanded by Resident Magistrate Desiree Alleyne, when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. His co-accused, 18-year-old James Rodgers, was granted bail in the sum of $500, 000 with two sureties.

Ring of four

Both men are part of a ring of four charged with molesting the schoolgirl. Jones was entrusted with the responsibility of taking her home from school.

Earlier this month, the other accused, the 18-year-old Shamar Morgan and a 15-year-old youth, both pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault. They will be sentenced on the day Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodgers return to court.

Mr. Rodgers, a Haitian-American, who like Jones is represented by attorney-at-law Paul Beswick, has been given strict bail condition by Judge Alleyne. He is to surrender his travel documents and birth certificate, report to the Half-Way Tree Police Station every day and has been warned not to have any contact with Jones or his family. Rodgers is the alleged videographer.

Clerk of the Court, Hansurd Lawson, has said that the judge denied Mr. Jones bail because the investigation was ongoing. Mr. Lawson said the judge will put in writing her reasons for denying bail.

Bail application

Mr. Beswick is expected to continue bail application for Mr. Jones in the Supreme Court. Despite three consecutive days of hearings, lasting almost seven hours, Mr. Beswick failed to convince Judge Alleyne that Mr. Jones should be released from custody. Judges Georgiana Fraser and Judith Pusey were both unconvinced that he should not be behind bars.

Mr. Jones, who has been in jail since July 5, is facing charges of carnal abuse, aiding and abetting carnal abuse, 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.


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