A man convicted of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter cried tears of joy yesterday when a Court of Appeal quashed his convictions.
The 40-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his 12-year-old accuser, will not face a second trial.
He was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment after a jury convicted him in 2018 of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a dependent in 2015.
Public defender Alesha Cadet argued that the conviction was unsafe and unsatisfactory, given the evidence that his accuser tested positive for gonorrhea but he did not have the disease.
Prosecutor Destiny McKinney said a doctor testified that it “was possible but unlikely” to transmit an STD and not test positive for it.
McKinney said there was evidence that the man was taking the Augmentin and herbal medicines, which could have caused his negative test.
McKinney also said that the child’s testimony of the sexual abuse was supported by a medical examination that showed abrasions to her privates.
Cadet said the complainant was motivated to lie, as she admitted that she didn’t like her stepfather because of the alleged molestation and because he allegedly beat her mother.
Cadet suggested that the sexual assault claims could have been fabricated by the girl and her mother since there was also evidence that he was unfaithful.
McKinney countered that the mother said she didn’t know about the abuse until the child informed a teacher, who, in turn, called police.
The court said that it would provide its reasons for allowing the appeal at a later date.