A 43-year-old assistant pastor who used trips to the beach to facilitate the repeated rape of a minor when she was between the ages of five and seven years has been imprisoned for 30 years.
“I think this has been an evil crime. I do not use the term lightly. After almost two decades on the bench I have not come across any worse example of the depravity,” that a human being can to sink to, Justice Brian Cottle told prisoner Delroy ‘Licker’ Fraser after he had delivered this sentence.
Cottle said that he still hopes the prisoner can be rehabilitated, “but at the very least I feel that by removing him from society for a very long time, I can avert the possibility that he might go on to abuse some other child.”
Fraser was convicted on three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, which took place in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The jury decided his guilt after a full trial during which he was represented by defence lawyer Israel Bruce and the prosecution presented its case via assistant Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Karim Nelson and crown counsel Rose Ann Richardson.
From the evidence of the trial, it has been revealed that the assistant pastor was a close friend of the mother of the child, and this friendship had existed for around 10 years. With this trust, she allowed the assistant pastor, a married man, a father and step-father, to take her daughter on outings to the beach. However, Fraser took the child to secluded parts of a beach on a Grenadine island. He was not usually alone, sometimes he would carry his daughter, a toddler who is younger than the victim in this case. Fraser’s daughter would be left on the beach, while the child would be raped in the sea.
She was told that should she tell anyone, something worse would happen, and therefore she kept quiet about these incidents.
However, one day in 2017, when a sermon was preached in her church and it contained a prophecy that someone on the pulpit would be exposed, and the young girl found the courage to tell her mother. Her mother, crying, confronted the assistant pastor at his house, asking him why she shouldn’t lock him up that night.
The following day, the pastor of the church, who was told about the incident, summoned a meeting. Fraser was invited to respond to the accusation of the child, but did not explicitly deny it.
The police were alerted, and a medical examination was conducted. This revealed that the victim had “signs of significant physical trauma” “consistent with her having been assaulted multiple times over the protracted period.”
The victim is now 11 years old.
The judge noted: “She impressed this court as a very intelligent, articulate young lady. It is my hope and prayer that the almost unspeakable crimes with which she has had to endure do not destroy a person who shows so much promise at such an early age.”
The young girl provided the court with an impact statement saying how she has been affected. She explained having feelings of depression, anxiety and being suicidal.
“She has had to endure so much suffering over such a long time, in part because she feared for the safety of her mother if the truth were ever to come out,” the judge said.
The child had to bear the trauma all while Fraser maintained a close friendship with her family, during which he would visit her house for meals.
She has lost all trust in men, and would have graphic flashbacks or nightmares. Fraser took advantage of the fact that her father was absent in the young child’s life.
Cottle noted that the prisoner had “assaulted the complainant spiritually.”
Her innocence was taken from her, and “This is a grievance wrong which can never be righted,” the judge said.
Fraser’s defence lawyer argued that the sentencing guidelines should be applied in a certain way. At the end of his submissions, Bruce noted that his client had yielded to the temptations of the devil, after living a good life before this.
“In your determination of an appropriate sentence for the prisoner at the bar, keep upper most in our minds that the ‘great judge’ is always merciful,” the lawyer stated.
However, Justice Cottle determined that, using the sentencing guidelines, the crime was one where there was “exceptional harm” and that it should be placed in the highest level of seriousness.
He considered the abuse of trust, the extreme psychologically harm and the fact that Fraser was more than three decades older than the under-10 year old child.
Starting at 20 years, he moved up three years because of aggravating features, and then down one year for the fact that he had no previous convictions.
Therefore, the sentence rested at 22 years.
There was no guilty plea, and therefore no further reduction. “This prisoner was content to compound his reprehensive behaviour by compelling the young virtual complainant to recount her ordeal in excruciating detail, to a room full of strangers,” the judge noted.
He thought that each sentence for the three counts of rape should run consecutively because they were separate incidents.
For the second count, five years incarceration was handed down, and three years for the final count, for a total of 30 years.
Fraser has spent 25 days on remand so far.