Resident Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts
Resident Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts

Paul Guiste, a father of 11 of Marigot, has been sentenced to prison for four years, eight months, and 21 days following his guilty plea to Unlawful Sexual Connection (USC) and indecent assault against a 19-year-old woman.

The facts of the case are that, on May 9, 2018, at about 5:30 a.m. at Marigot, the virtual complainant (VC) left her home to run an errand in the village. She stopped a passenger bus that was driven by Guiste.

There he propositioned her sexual favours offering her $40 but she stated to him, "I don't do sex for money."

The VC entered the bus and Guiste drove off at speed causing her to fall back and hit her head on the seat of the bus.

The victim's evidence further stated that the then 52-year-old man drove to an isolated area known as the Farm Road in Marigot where he switched off his engine then locked the young adult inside the bus and stepped away to answer a call at which time she stated she was scared and started panicking. Upon his return to the bus, he then pried open her legs and performed oral sex on her. He then attempted to initiate intercourse without her consent but stopped after the victim pleaded with him.

Guiste pleaded guilty to the charge on June 2, 2021, and appeared before the court more than a year later for sentencing.

While Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts said judicial authorities set the maximum penalty for the offense of USC at 14 years imprisonment and indecent assault at 5 years if committed on a person 16 years and older, she stated the starting point of the sentence must be established upon application of the sexual offenses guideline which prescribes a six-step process for arriving at the sentence. Meanwhile, at the Magistrate's court, a west coast man was denied bail following two sex-related charges and an abduction charge preferred against him by the police.

The accused recently appeared before Magistrate Pearl Williams where the charges were read to him. He was not required to enter a plea as the matter is an indictable offense and is expected to be tried at the High Court before a judge and jury.

The 49-year-old man is accused of committing sexual acts against a minor aged 7 years.

At the court hearing, the police prosecutor, Sergeant David Andrew Jr. objected to bail pursuant to section 7 (2)(e) of the Bail Act. He stated, that it is not in the public's interest for the accused to be released, and the police fear that if granted bail, the defendant may abscond justice.

Sergeant Andrew told the court, on the hills of the police investigation, the accused fled his community and evaded police. When apprehended, he said the accused was found with $3,700.00 in his possession which the police believe would have been used to flee the jurisdiction.

Another of the prosecutor's grounds for objection to bail was that the accused may interfere with witnesses, as according to police, the defendant made attempts to contact the mother of the victim relative to finicianal payment in regard to the incident.

However, in his plea to the court for bail, the accused denied the allegations put forward by the police and begged for his release as according to him, he is financially responsible for his two minor children who are in his care.

However, he was unable to sway Magistrate Williams and bail was denied.

She said the court found that no appropriate circumstance exists as to why bail should be granted to him and agreed with the prosecution that it would not be in the public's interest to grant bail to the accused man. He was remanded into custody at the Dominica State Prison and the matter was adjourned to November 24, 2022, for Preliminary Inquiry.

In keeping with the section 38 of Dominica's Sexual Offences Act of 1998, The Sun is not at liberty to disclose the name of the accused unless he is convicted at the High Court of Justice for the alleged offense.