by Linda Straker
- Trevorson Roberts who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a five-year-old boy, left the state on Friday
- Commissioner of Police filed an appeal to review sentence
Police have confirmed that Trevorson Roberts, the 24-year-old Pastor who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a five-year-old boy, left the state on Friday via an international flight from the Maurice Bishop International Airport on an aircraft bound for New York’s JFK International Airport.
“He has already been served with the Notice of Appeal. Notwithstanding, he could not be stopped by the State from leaving,” a law enforcement official explained.
The matter was heard on Wednesday and though the law provides for a maximum sentence of five years, the convict who was represented by lawyer Nigel Stewart did not receive jail time but was sentenced to pay a total fine of EC$2,100. Of that sum, EC$1,500 went to the state and EC$600 to be used by the victim for six therapy sessions.
On Friday evening the Ministry of Legal Affairs issued a statement which said that legislation for the registration of convicted sex offenders are among new legislative and administrative mechanisms being developed that will provide for the greater protection of children and other victims of sexual offences. “Presently, the Attorney General’s office, in consultation with various stakeholders including the Ministers of Legal Affairs and Social Development is actively developing various administrative and legislative mechanisms to provide greater protection for children and other victims of sexual offences” said a statement from the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
“We are also working on a draft bill relating to the Registration of Sexual Offenders which is being considered by various stakeholders in preparation of it being submitted to Parliament,” said the statement which praised the Commissioner of Police for filing an appeal to review the sentence.
“Government is confident that the existing measures and others presently under consideration will foster greater effectiveness in the fight against sexual offences.” Under the Rehabilitation Offenders law, sexual offences are not among the crimes that will be expunged after a conviction.
The Acting Commissioner of Police, on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions filed the appeal against the sentence imposed by Nevlyn John, the Magistrate in the Grenville Magistrate Court. “The essence of that appeal is that the sentence imposed is manifestly inadequate having regards to the circumstances of the case and the present legislation. Pursuant to the Criminal Code, the offence of indecent assault carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment,” said the statement from the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
“This matter highlights the issue of sexual offences in Grenada against children and the need to ensure that existing laws indeed achieve the objective of deterring such offences and to protect the vulnerable in our society,” the statement added.
In 2012, after a consultative process with civil society, various provisions relating to sexual offences in the Criminal Code were amended to increase the penalties for those offences. However, indecent assault is not covered in the new sentencing guidelines which came into effective on 1 October 2019.