Headline — 31 July 2015 — by Rowland A. Parks

BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 29, 2015–For over two years, Charles Bucknor has maintained his innocence in regards to the allegation that he committed an aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor who was 13 years old at the time, but today, he was found guilty of the offense and was given the maximum sentence of 3 years in prison.

Perspiration began to form on the face of the 50-year-old laborer as he tried to interrupt Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith as she was summarizing the evidence presented in his trial this morning.

At the last adjournment of the case, Bucknor had indicated to the court that he would call his assistant as a witness in his defense. This morning, however, his assistant was a no-show in court.

Before she handed down the three-year sentence, the Chief Magistrate told Bucknor, “You, Mr. Bucknor, are nothing but a pervert, and a sick pervert at that, and you are a liar. You, Mr. Bucknor are going to prison.”

“What is the penalty?” Chief Magistrate Smith asked the court prosecutor, Inspector Carol Tucker.

Tucker replied, “Three years is the maximum, your honor.”

Smith then told Bucknor, “You’re getting the maximum, three years in prison.”

During the course of the trial, the court heard evidence from the minor, her mother, stepfather, grandaunt and the arresting police officer.

The incident occurred on July 16, 2013, at the minor’s grandaunt’s home, where Bucknor and another man were hired to repair a bathroom ceiling.

According to the evidence of the child, Bucknor had sent out his assistant to the shop to buy rum.

While the helper was away from the house, however, Bucknor went into the minor’s bedroom, where she was lying on her bed, watching television.

The minor described for the court how Bucknor entered her room, and told her, “you betta no say anything, otherwise I wan deal with you.”

Bucknor then held her down with one hand, while he took off her shorts and underwear with his other hand. He then began to perform oral sex on her, and he only stopped when he heard the gate downstairs open.

His assistant had returned from the shop with the rum he was sent to buy.

The minor explained that she went into another room and used her grandaunt’s cell phone to call her mother to tell her what had just happened to her.

In her testimony, the child’s mother told the court that she was surprised that her daughter was calling her from off her aunt’s cellphone, because she had never used that phone since she began staying with her grandaunt.

The mother called her common-law husband (the minor’s stepfather) before she headed to her aunt’s house.

The stepfather arrived at the house before the mother, and he explained to the court that upon his arrival, he saw Bucknor and his helper in the yard.

Without asking him anything, the stepfather said, Bucknor told him, “the little girl is lying on me.”

The stepfather told him to leave him alone, because he would find out for himself what happened.

When he saw his stepdaughter, he asked her what happened, and she appeared to have been crying. He assured her that nobody could do her any harm if she told him what transpired.

The minor pointed at Mr. Bucknor and told her stepfather, “Mr. Bucknor hold me down and suck my private part. It happened in the room.”

When the child’s grandaunt arrived, Bucknor told her that the child was telling lies on him and he got down on his knees.

“He was shouting at the top of his voice and I told him to keep quiet, because the neighbors were watching,” the child’s grandaunt testified.

The Chief Magistrate told Bucknor, “You had the motive and the opportunity to go into that room. You see a defenseless child and you decided to take advantage of her.”

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