BELIZE CITY, Wed. Aug, 8, 2012
Today, Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Leroy Gomez, 26, to 15 years for rape and another 15 years for robbery after a 9-member jury found him guilty of rape and robbery on July 31.
Sentencing had been deferred to Friday, August 3, giving Gomez time to present character witnesses, but they didn’t appear. Treinna Young, however, representing the Crown, made a submission requesting a life sentence for Gomez, and Justice Lucas then deferred sentencing to today, August 8, allowing Young to find arguments supporting her submission.
This morning, Young presented her arguments, but her attempts at getting a life sentence for Gomez were futile, as Judge Lucas disagreed with her points and refused her submission.
A character witness, Rocindo Anderson, was then called to the stand. He told the court that he knew Gomez for almost 26 years, and although he knows him as someone who would defend himself, he didn’t know him as a rapist.
Gomez was convicted of the rape and robbery of a 28-year-old woman which occurred on August 23, 2011. The victim was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez approached her and put something that looked like a gun to her side and robbed her of her cell phone and imitation diamond earrings. After robbing her, he forced her to get on the bar of his bike, took her two houses down from where they were and raped her in the yard under the steps.
Before sentencing Gomez, Justice Lucas told the court that being robbed must be a humiliation and an embarrassment for a person, but robbery must be less of an embarrassing ordeal if one is raped after being robbed. He said that being raped must have been a horrific ordeal for the victim, and the act was a “sickening” crime to commit.
Gomez was then sentenced to 15 years for the crime of rape, and another 15 for the robbery, sentences that were effective since his conviction on July 31. The sentences are to run concurrently, so Gomez will not spend 30 years, but only 15 instead.