Headline — 19 March 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
Kevin Lee, 68, convicted of indecent assault

Lee was accused of touching a client’s breasts and legs

Today, after months of adjournments during the trial, Kevin Lee, a well-known acupuncturist in Belize, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.

In a report to police, a 20-year-old female told police that she had visited Lee’s clinic twice – once in March 2011 and again on April 6, 2011.

But it was on her second visit that the alleged assault occurred. She said that Lee fondled her breasts and legs, and attempted to touch her vagina.

In his testimony, Lee, who was represented by attorney Alifah Elrington Hyde, told the court that the woman had indeed visited his clinic on two separate occasions. However, on the date that she indicated that the incident occurred, he was busy with a lot of customers and because her injury seemed to have healed, he opted to have her get a machine massage.

Lee also presented the court with two receipts, allegedly showing the dates that the woman had come to his clinic, and the payments she made based on the prices of the massages.

He vehemently denied assaulting or touching the woman inappropriately, and said that since she received a machine massage that day, there was no way he could have touched her, because the machine did everything.

In delivering her verdict today, the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, told Lee, “I must admit that I consider the two pieces of evidence as suspect. Based on your demeanor and your testimony, I had great difficulty in believing your story. I found the evidence of the VC [virtual complainant] to be clear and consistent. Based on the entirety of the evidence, I am of the view that the prosecutor did satisfy their burden of proof.”

The Senior Magistrate then told Lee that he was found guilty of the crime. Lee immediately asked if he could appeal the verdict and was informed that it was his constitutional right to do so, and that it had to be done within 21 days of his conviction.

In a mitigation plea by Elrington-Hyde, she submitted that a custodial sentence not be imposed on Lee based on his age, and on the fact that this was his first offense and conviction, that he had maintained his innocence throughout the trial, and that he has an ailing wife who lives in Taiwan and who he has been unable to visit due to the trial.

The Senior Magistrate then told Lee, “I have been grappling in my mind as to what would be the most effective sentence for you. I find that as an acupuncturist, when people went to you, they put their trust and faith in you to do what you were supposed to do. I am mindful of the fact that this is a serious matter – a matter where trust was placed in you and you violated that trust. I cannot give you a non-custodial sentence in good faith. I will, however, show some mercy in imposing a one-year sentence, effective today.”

Lee was then lead from the court, and while walking to the cell block, he told reporters that “God understands him.”

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