BELIZE CITY, Fri. Oct. 5, 2012
Today in the court of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, Patrick Payne, 43, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.
Payne was arrested and charged with this crime when he appeared in court on August 15, 2012, after a minor, 16, reported to police that Payne had touched her inappropriately. At the time of his arraignment, the prosecutor, Sgt. Egbert Castillo, secured Payne’s remand after informing the court of a previous conviction for the same offense.
The conviction was from 2004, when Payne was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for the offense.
In her testimony today, which was held in camera, the victim told the court that she was asleep in her bedroom and was suddenly awakened when she felt someone touching her vagina. When she opened her eyes, she recognized her fondler as Payne.
She said that she called for her mother, but by the time her mother arrived, Payne had already left the room.
Before Payne was detained, her mother had an opportunity to question him about the incident, which he flatly denied ever occurred.
In his defense, Payne told the court that he did not touch the minor, and that she was only telling lies on him. However, the Chief Magistrate did not believe his story, and convicted him of the crime.
Payne was then sentenced to another three years in prison.