Attorney Bacchus-Baptiste has lauded the jury in a recent matter in which her client Jason Seaton, 22, of Rose Hall was found not guilty of raping a 15-year-old student.
“It took the jury just over an hour to arrive at a unanimous verdict of not guilty, and I want to commend them for doing their civic duty as jurors. The system worked”, Bacchus-Baptiste told THE VINCENTIAN on Tuesday.
A nine-member jury, comprised of eight women and one man, had found Seaton not guilty on Monday, following a trial that started on October 12.
“I totally understand looking out for the rights of victims, especially in sexual offenses, but we have to be also aware that in some cases the victims lie”, Bacchus-Baptiste said, adding that it was clear that the complainant, in this case, was untruthful in her evidence.
The lawyer said that this disrupted her client’s life. She described Seaton as a young, upcoming Vincentian male who had to drop out of school at age 17 because of this allegation.
Seaton was charged with raping the student on May 5, 2016. He was 17 at the time.
The crown’s case was that sometime after 4 p.m. Seaton went to the home where the girl was staying with an elderly home and raped her.
But Seaton denied this in his defense to the Court. He said the girl fabricated the story against him. He said that he was looking out for her as a big brother, and had spoken to her on a number of occasions in relation to her sexual affairs. He believes that she may have gotten upset because of this, and fabricated the story.
Bacchus-Baptiste, in her closing arguments, pointed out that there was no corroborative evidence, and the medical evidence did not support rape.
And according to the lawyer, the crown did not disclose to her a vital medical report concerning the complainant, to which (report) Bacchus-Baptiste referenced.
The case for the crown was led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Karim Nelson, assisted by crown counsel Kaylia Toney.