Television cameraman and former reporter, Andre Hetsberger, was yesterday jailed for 25 years by Justice Navendra Singh, on a charge of having sex with a minor female relative – a 13-year-old who he and his wife had cared for.
The offence was committed in 2014 and came to light after the girl had alleged that Hetsberger had sexually molested her.
When the matter first surfaced, people close to the 39-year-old Hetsberger and even his friends doubted his guilt.
In fact, after he managed to secure bail, his employers re-employed him. He continued to work until yesterday when he was sentenced.
The matter was heard in camera after the jury was empanelled on Wednesday.
Yesterday, sentencing was imposed in open court. Immediately there was commotion in the courtroom. Hetsberger burst into tears. Those members of the judiciary who were in the court left immediately.
The prosecution said that it relied on serious circumstantial evidence. The victim insisted that she was molested and penetrated one day in 2014. Because she was under the age of consent the charge was statutory rape.
The victim testified that she was molested repeatedly and convinced the jury that Hetsberger was the perpetrator.
He was represented by attorneys Lawrence Harris and Hewley Griffith. The prosecutors were Siand Dhurjon, Michael Shahoud, and Narissa Leander.