Antigua: No bail for elderly man accused of sex crime

Antigua Observer:–  Jail is where a 70-year-old man was sent yesterday on remand following a magistrate’s refusal to grant his application for bail on a charge of indecent assault on a minor.

The man, who cannot be named due to legal restrictions, allegedly committed the crime of indecent assault on a 14 year old girl on August 13, 2018.

Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel denied bail even as the man’s lawyer, Michael Archibald argued that his client has certain ailments.

The All Saints Magistrate asked Archibald for supporting documents regarding his client’s alleged illness, but he had none.

The accused still has the option of seeking bail in the High Court though.

Meanwhile, the details as to how the matter came to light were not disclosed in the magistrate’s court, and the man was not required to say whether he was innocent or guilty since the case is indictable.

The magistrate’s role in these cases, is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence, at least on the face of it, to warrant sending the man to the High Court for trial.

She has set November 14 as the date to make her position known, once the police prosecution provides the court with the case file in time.

While the case is pending, the court has ordered that the child be given counseling.

Under the Sexual Offences Act, indecent assault is described as an offence involving unwanted sexual contact. The maximum sentence for the crime is five years in jail.

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