Crime — 29 August 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
“Peeping Tom” sentenced to 6 months

BELIZE CITY–A resident of the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway who was charged with committing a mischievous act after he was caught peeping into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to 6 months in prison when his trial concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning.

After the court prosecutor indicated that he was closing the case for the prosecution, Smith told the accused, Angel Dorado, 34, an unemployed man, that he had one out of three options. He could remain silent, or he could give an unsworn statement from the dock where he stood, or finally, he could go across to the witness stand and make a sworn statement and be subject to cross examination.

Dorado decided that he would remain silent.

Smith told him that since he did not want to put up a defense, the only evidence before the court was that of the prosecution. She therefore found him guilty of committing a mischievous act.

The Chief Magistrate asked Dorado if he would like to say something for her to take into consideration before she passed sentence on him. Dorado, again, decided that he would remain silent.

His face, however, registered an obvious shock when Smith imposed the 6-month sentence upon him.

Smith ordered Dorado to apologize to the 13-year-old girl before he was escorted by police out of the courtroom to the court’s holding cell.

During the trial, four witnesses testified: the 13-year-old girl, her mother, her aunt and the arresting police officer.

The girl, a second form student, testified that around 5:45 a.m. on the morning of the incident, she stepped out of her bathroom and went into her room with only a towel wrapped around her.

The girl testified that when she entered her room, she saw Dorado, who is known to her as “John C,” peeping at her. She got scared and screamed out for help, and her aunt, an 18-year-old, went to her room to see what was wrong.

Her mother also heard her scream and when she ran outside of the house, she came face-to-face with Dorado. The girl’s mother asked him “what the hell” he was doing in her yard peeping at her daughter.

The girl’s mother testified that Dorado ran into another neighbor’s yard and she went to the Hattieville Police Station and made a report about the incident.

Dorado, in questioning the girl’s mother and aunt, suggested to them that they had fabricated the entire story, because they had a grievance against him over the pulling of mangoes from off his property.

Dorado also indicated to the court that he was only passing through the yard and that he was not peeping at the girl.

According to the girl’s mother, ever since Dorado went to live in the community, he has been terrorizing people, and she felt that she had to take a stand in order to prevent him from exploiting any of her children.

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