Headline — 03 December 2016 — by Rowland A. Parks
Fisherman, 39, gets 5 years for sexual assault of child, 6

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 30, 2016–Today was set as the sentencing date for John Leslie, a fisherman who was convicted of sexual assault upon a six-year-old child when his case concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith last Thursday, November 24.

After finding him guilty, Chief Magistrate Smith did not mince her words. She told Leslie that he is “a sick and depraved person,” and if he does not know the meaning of those words, he could look them up when he goes to prison.

The court had indicated to Leslie that he could bring character witnesses to speak on his behalf. Leslie brought his wife as the only character witness.

Pamela Leslie, 31, told the court, “John and I have five children together. He is a very loving father to his children. I have not known John to be any child molester.”

“Stand up, Mr. Leslie,” Chief Magistrate Smith told Leslie. “Now I have listened to what your wife had to say. I have listened to what you had to say and I have listened to what the victim had to say, and I will repeat what I said last week, that you, Mr. Leslie, have a very sick personality.”

“The fact that your wife came here today to give character testimony does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that you have not committed these offences. And as the case of Andre Penn, a case from the British Virgin Islands, in relation to good character description, there is always a first time,” Chief Magistrate Smith went on to remark.

“So yes, you may be of good character, but there is always a first time. I am of the opinion that this is, maybe, the first time that you were caught. I do believe the testimony of the child. She said that you put your penis in her mouth … you ejaculated in the child’s mouth, and you touched her on her vagina,” Smith further said.

In similar scolding fashion last Thursday when she found him guilty of the sexual assault charge, Chief Magistrate Smith told the 39-year-old Leslie, “You are a person in need of deep psychological help and rehabilitation, and I hope you get it at the Kolbe Foundation. You are sentenced to five years in prison.”

The Chief Magistrate also explained to Leslie that the law calls for him to be sentenced to five years upon summary conviction. “Upon indictment, the sentence is ten years,” she said.

The sexual assault incident reportedly occurred on April 16.

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