BELIZE CITY–On Wednesday, October 29, a nine-member jury in the Supreme Court of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez voted 7-2 to convict Brian Charlesworth of one count of carnal knowledge. Justice Gonzalez had set today, Friday, as mitigation and sentencing date for Charlesworth, who had been convicted on two previous occasions for sexual offenses.
Justice Gonzalez imposed a 20-year sentence, stipulating that the sentence is to run consecutive to any other sentence that Charlesworth is presently serving.
Prior to the sentencing, however, Charlesworth, 45, appeared upset and argumentative in the courtroom.
Charlesworth told the court that he wanted the judge to give him back the time he had served.
Charlesworth, still upset with the verdict, blurted out that he thought that the justice system was unfair.
Justice Gonzalez cautioned him, saying to him that he could not be disrespectful of the jurors’ decision.
Charlesworth snapped back, saying that he did not get justice.
Justice Gonzalez noted that the jury had found him guilty of carnal knowledge and naturally, this type of offense is very serious, and a conviction for such an offense requires that the court impose a sentence that ranges from a minimum of 12 years to life in prison.
Gonzalez also added that in Charlesworth’s case, he has a previous conviction for carnal knowledge and another conviction for an indecent assault upon a minor.
In 2001, Charlesworth was convicted on an indictment for carnal knowledge and received the minimum sentence – 12 years in prison.
In October 2009, Charlesworth was released on parole from the Belize Central Prison after having served eight years and seven months of his 12-year sentence.
Two years after his release from prison, in November 2011, Charlesworth was charged for carnal knowledge, which is an indictable matter and must be heard in the Supreme Court.
And while he was out on bail pending the carnal knowledge case, Charlesworth, in 2012, was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon another minor.
In February 2013, he was convicted of the aggravated assault of an indecent nature charge before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Charlesworth will have to serve out the remaining time left in that three-year sentence before he begins to serve the 20-year sentence.
It is not known why Charlesworth was not returned to prison after violating his probation by being charged with another offence; in fact, he was given bail.
In his defense during his last carnal knowledge trial, Charlesworth gave a sworn statement telling the court that he was not at the location where the six-year-old minor was molested.
Only 2 out of 9 jurors, however, believed him.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Gonzalez noted that it’s the court’s duty to protect children from the likes of the convicted pedophile.
Since it is apparent that he violated his parole by getting arrested, charged and convicted, prison authorities may require Charlesworth to finish the 12-year sentence for his first carnal knowledge conviction. If that turns out to be the case, Charlesworth could be looking at spending 25 more years or so behind bars.
Crown Council Kileru Awich led the prosecution against Charlesworth, while attorney Kathleen Lewis defended him.