Man gets life sen­tence for rap­ing baby

Stabroek News - - STABROEK NEWS -

Rod­ney Kurtzious, 31, was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment af­ter a jury con­victed him for rap­ing a one-year-old girl, whose gen­i­tals he tore dur­ing the as­sault, caus­ing her to be hos­pi­talised.

De­scrib­ing the act as rep­re­hen­si­ble and for which a strong mes­sage of con­dem­na­tion needed to be sent to so­ci­ety, Jus­tice JoAnn Bar­low classed the as­sault a “worst case sce­nario.”

She said that the case was “trou­bling,” not only be­cause the vic­tim was a baby, but re­call­ing ev­i­dence pre­sented at trial, she said that the as­sault was car­ried out in view of other chil­dren.

Against this back­ground, the judge said that it was for such cases that the max­i­mum penalty of life im­pris­on­ment be­comes war­ranted.

She told the con­vict that he breached the trust the child’s mother ob­vi­ously re­posed in him as she had left the in­fant in his care while she ran an er­rand for him. She added that in­stead of nur­tur­ing and car­ing for the child, he vi­o­lated her.

“Her body suf­fered tears,” the judge said, as she ref­er­enced find­ings of the med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate ad­mit­ted in the trial.

So se­vere were the in­juries, Jus­tice Bar­low said, that the child had to be hos­pi­talised for three days af­ter be­ing re­ferred from a health cen­tre, which was un­able to deal with the med­i­cal com­plaints pre­sented.

“The court has a duty to send a strong mes­sage that such acts will not be con­doned,” the judge said sternly.

Jus­tice Bar­low said that af­ter con­sid­er­ing the na­ture and cir­cum­stances of the case—the child’s age, the in­juries caused to her body and the fact that Kurtzious breached a po­si­tion of trust—it all amounted to ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors, war­rant­ing a sen­tence of life im­pris­on­ment.

She said that there were no fac­tors be­fore her for

which the court could have turned to mit­i­gate the sen­tence.

The judge pointed out to Kurtzious that he said noth­ing when given a chance, which the court could have con­sid­ered in mit­i­ga­tion.

When asked if he had any­thing to say be­fore the court passed sen­tence on him, the un­rep­re­sented Kurtzious, who wore an ex­pres­sion­less look on his face, re­sponded, “No, my Hon­our.”

Although im­pos­ing a life sen­tence, the judge or­dered that Kurtzious serve a full 25 years be­fore be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble for pa­role.

Fur­ther to that, she or­dered that he be ex­posed to pro­grammes of­fered by the pri­son to re­form sex of­fend­ers.

Jus­tice Bar­low then ad­mon­ished the con­vict to wisely use his time be­hind bars to re­flect on what he had done and re­solve to change his life so that once re­leased, he would not re­of­fend.

She also made it clear to him that pa­role was not au­to­matic and she ex­plained that he would partly have to demon­strate good be­hav­iour and signs of re­form, which are among the fac­tors for con­sid­er­a­tion of re­lease.

Kurtzious sex­u­ally pen­e­trated the child on July 27th of last year.

Af­ter about three hours of de­lib­er­a­tions, the jury re­turned with its ma­jor­ity ver­dict of 11 to 1, find­ing Kurtzious guilty as charged.

The trial pro­ceed­ings were held in-cam­era at the Sex­ual Of­fences Court of the Ge­orge­town High Court.

The case was pros­e­cuted by state at­tor­neys Abigail Gibbs and Seeta Bishun­dial.

Rod­ney Kurtzious

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