A 9-member jury deliberated for three hours and 17 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict in the trial of a 44-year-old man indicted on two counts of incest against his daughter, who was 10 years old when the incidents occurred in 2009.
The incestuous man is already serving a 3-year prison sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault of an indecent nature that he committed upon another minor.
The trial took place before Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, and eight out of the nine jurors voted to convict the man on the two incest indictments.
Justice Gonzalez has set Friday, February 21, for a mitigation hearing, before he passes sentence.
Incest carries a prison term ranging from 12 years to life in prison. Due to the sensitivity of incest cases (court reporters were barred from this trial), Amandala cannot not use the name or photograph of the convicted man.
According to court information, however, the child had reported that on two occasions, in the months of July and August, 2009, her father had sexual intercourse with her in their Belize City home.
When the allegations were first made to police, the man was also charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, but Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, who prosecuted the case, withdrew the aggravated assault charge.
In his defence, the man relied on the old, worn-out argument, “It wasn’t me.” He claimed that on the two occasions in 2009, when his daughter alleged he had sexual intercourse with her, he was not even in Belize City.
He did not, however, provide the court with an alibi to corroborate his whereabouts, and only managed to convince one out of his nine jurors.