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Armed thugs who turned romance into rape, guilty!!

Derrick Sampson, 22, and Michael Trapp, 21, showed no remorse this evening when a jury of 8 – 7 women and one man, after deliberating for about two hours unanimously found them guilty in connection with a violent crime in which a couple were robbed and the young woman, 19 at the time, was raped on the seawall near the roundabout on Marine Parade, shortly after 12:30 a.m. on May 13, 2006.
 
Sampson and Trapp were found guilty of two counts of robbery, while Sampson alone, who was charged with rape, was found guilty of the charge.
 
Trapp was found guilty of abetment to rape.
 
The jury was 9, but one of the jurors, a lady, became ill this morning when the trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez, was summing up the case. She was taken to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and admitted to ward. The trial had to continue without her.
 
Justice Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until Monday, July 23, in order to give Sampson and Trapp time to prepare pleas for mitigation.
 
Neither defendant was represented by an attorney. Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Branker-Taitt, presented the prosecution.
 
The rape victim, who, like her boyfriend, was a student of the University of Belize, testified that she and her boyfriend were sitting on the seawall, he between her legs, when two men rode past them on bicycles.
 
At the time four Chinese persons were sitting on the seawall, two of them as close as 100 yards away, she said.
 
She said that the cyclists stopped, turned around and came to where they were. Then one of them, who wore dark clothing, took out a small silver-colored pistol, pointed it at them and told them not to make any noise.
 
By this time, the two men had taken off their shirts and had tied them over their faces.
 
The gunman told her boyfriend to hand over everything he had, and he proceeded to search her boyfriend’s pants pockets, taking his cell phone and car keys, she said.
 
The second assailant, who wore camouflage pants and had a cap pulled down low over his forehead, then told her boyfriend to take off his two rings, and he reluctantly complied, she testified.
 
She also testified that the gunman ripped her gold chain from her neck, then rubbed his gun up her thighs, exposing her white thong underwear, and thereafter, her vagina. He then told her to take off her thong and “ride” him.
 
Fearing for her life, she said, she straddled him and he began to rape her, giving the gun to his partner in the process. While she was being raped by the man in dark clothing, the man in camouflage pants had the gun pointed at her head, she said.
 
She also testified that while she was being raped, the man in camouflage made her boyfriend take off his clothes and go into the sea.
She said she got a chance to see the face of the rapist when the shirt he had tied around his headover his nose, fell off as he grasped her thighs. The rapist then made her get off him.
 
She also got a look of the face of the man in camouflage when the shirt he had over his face fell off as well, and he told her to look away.
 
The man in camouflage then made her remove her dress, and he used it to cover his face. Then she was told to lie down on her back, she testified.
 
As she lay naked on her back, the man in dark clothing who had been raping her got on top of her and began raping her again. He told her that as soon as he was finished, he would kill her and her boyfriend.
 
It was then that the man in camouflage told the man in dark clothing that he was noticing some lights that were flashing in their direction, and that the lights were coming from the police.
 
Both men then ran with their bicycles up Marine Parade towards Harbor View Restaurant, with the police in hot pursuit. The chase included two policemen and a policewoman.
 
The female police constable testified that when she was pursuing the suspects, one of them fired at her. She returned fire, shooting him in his foot. She later found him leaning against a fence and arrested him. She later identified him as Trapp.
 
Sampson ran into the sea and tried to escape in the direction of Harbor View Restaurant. He was apprehended by the police shortly afterwards on the restaurant’s compound. He wore only a boxer’s shorts. The chain that was stolen from the rape victim was found in the pants he had in his hand.
 
The rape victim’s boyfriend testified and corroborated most of her testimony. He said that they had gone to the Marine Parade area, while he was waiting to pick up his cousin, who was at a dance at MJ’s Grand for students of Sadie Vernon High School.
 
Sampson and Trapp both objected to the admission of caution statements they gave to the police, statements which admitted their guilt. But after a voire dire was held, Justice Gonzalez ruled that the statements were admissible as evidence.
 
Sampson, the accused rapist, testified that at the time of the incident he was at Harbor View Restaurant with two white women and he ran into the compound for help because somebody was trying to rob the women.
 
Trapp gave a statement from the dock in which he said that at the time of the incident, he was on his way to meet his sister at MJ’s Grand when he was stopped by the police as he reached in front of Princess Hotel and Casino, and he was told that he was wanted for a robbery.
 
He also said that the police took him to Marine Parade, held him down and shot him.
 
Trapp said he was taken to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was hospitalized for one week.
 
Sampson and Trapp did not call any witnesses to testify on their behalf.
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