Headline — 02 August 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
Nicannor Fermin, 41, guilty of having sex with child

Fermin was convicted of having sex with the child from before she was 14

Nicannor Fermin, 41, was today found guilty by a 9-member jury of six counts of carnal knowledge.

Fermin had been accused of having sexual intercourse with a female child who had been in his care from 2004 to January 9, 2010, when the minor decided that she had had enough of being taken advantage of and reported the matter to someone in authority at the school she attended.

Although the minor testified that Fermin had had sex with her over two hundred times, only six counts were brought against him, basically one count per year. The counts are for time periods that included sometime in 2004; January to December 2006; January to December 2007; January to December 2008; June 30 to December 31, 2009; and, finally, January 9, 2010. And two of those counts occurred while the child was still younger than 14 years — convictions which carry a more serious sentence.

The minor testified in court about a night when she was sleeping and Fermin came into her room and started to take off her clothes. She said she told him that he must not do it, and Fermin told her to lie down and relax. She said that Fermin then started to kiss her all over her body and performed oral sex on her, after which he had sexual intercourse with her. She said she told him that it hurt, but Fermin told her that it would only hurt for the first time.

She testified that Fermin had sex with her many times over the course of the years, and that when she would tell him no, he would tell her that he was the one paying her school fees and would threaten to withhold money from her for school.

According to her, Fermin would never use any kind of protection when he had sex with her, and he would pull out when he ejaculated. She said that after 11:00 a.m. on January 9, 2010, Fermin had sex with her, and it was at that point that she asked him when he would leave her alone, because she was tired of what was happening, and that she would tell her mother.

Fermin’s response was that she could tell her mother, but her mother wouldn’t believe because her mother loved him.

In his defense, Fermin, who was unrepresented, testified that he was not the person who was having sex with the minor, and that he was an innocent man. He said that the only reason the minor had made those accusations against him was because he was trying to bring her up the right way.

Fermin then brought two witnesses to testify on his behalf: his wife and his daughter. His wife told the court that although the minor was living with them, she was never alone with Fermin at their house. His daughter told the court that on January 9, 2010, after the minor had left the house at 7:00 that morning, she never returned there for the entire day after that.

This morning, after Justice Troadio Gonzalez did a sum-up of the case, the jury retired to the jury room at 11:20 to start their deliberation. At 2:11 this afternoon, the jury returned with their verdicts, and although Fermin was found guilty on all six counts, they were not all unanimous decisions.

On counts 1, 2, 5, and 6, the verdict was unanimous, but on counts 3 and 4, the decision was split in a ratio of 8 to 1.

Sentencing has been deferred until August 9, 2013, giving Fermin enough time to get witnesses to testify on his behalf and prepare his mitigation plea.

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