(CMR) A 46-year-old man in St Vincent and the Grenadines who knew he was HIV positive when he raped a 9-year-old girl in March 2018 will serve 22 years and 10 months in jail for his crime.
Cassell Lavia was sentenced on Friday, 3 June, after a jury convicted him on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of indecent assault of the child, iWitness News (IWN) reported.
According to IWN, on 7 March 2018, the child was on her way to the bathroom at her house when Lavia, who the girl's parents trusted, grabbed her from behind while wearing only his boxer shorts and pressed the lower part of his body against her.
Lavia stopped when another child knocked at the door. The following day, the girl's mother went to seek medical attention, and Lavia went into the child's bedroom when she was taking off her school uniform.
He put her to lie on a bed and removed her underwear, and inserted his penis in her vagina. He stopped when another child came into the room.
Later that night, he reportedly kissed the girl on her lips and sucked her breasts. The girl pretended to be asleep and rolled onto her side but felt something rigid pressed against her buttocks.
The following day, Lavia told the girl not to report the matter to her mother. However, later that day, the girl reported the assault to her father, who reported it to her mother.
The child also told her class teacher what had happened. The teacher called the incident to the principal's attention, who reported it to the police.
The police conducted an electronic interview with Lavia, who told them that he did not penetrate the child but had rubbed his penis on her upper thighs, near her genitalia.
He told investigators that he knew he was unwell and did not wish to infect the child with his illness.
A doctor examined the child and reported no evidence of internal trauma to her vagina, but noticed that her hymen was missing.
Meantime another man (53) from St Vincent who pleaded guilty to two counts of raping a 10-year-old girl, claiming the child pressured him into the act, was sentenced to 12 years. He was also sentenced on Friday, 3 June.
According to IWN, the facts of the case are that the child, who sometimes lived with her mother and at times with other relatives, was invited by Wickham to his home, where he had sex with her. He then gave her $5 and sent her home.
On another occasion, he invited her there and had sex with her, and gave her $5. Rumors started to circulate and reached the child's teacher, who reported it to her principal. The principal questioned the child and then reported the matter to the police.
The child was medically examined as part of the investigation, and the doctor found the child was sexually active.
The child took the police to Wickham's home and also to where the sexual activity had taken place. She showed them a used condom and condom wrapper. Wickham was present and said it was the child that had brought the condom for him to use.