A 64-year-old man from San Juan, convicted of raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter in 2004, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.
The man, who can not be named to protect the identity of the victim, was found guilty of having sex with the minor late last year but was only sentenced by High Court Judge Hayden St Clair-Douglas at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the victim, who lived with the man since she was six-years-old, claimed that the attacks took place between February 2003 and November 2004.
She testified that on all three occasions she was sleeping with her siblings in the living room of their house when the man woke her up, took her into a bedroom and raped her.
Police arrested the man after the girl told her mother and aunt, who also lived in the house.
During the trial, State prosecutors led evidence from the girl and her mother but also relied on DNA evidence gathered when a doctor examined the girl after the last incident in 2004.
While he was charged with three sexual offenses against the girl, the nine-member jury before St Clair-Douglas only convicted him over the last attack.
The victim also testified during the man’s sentencing and informed the judge that after he was charged with the crime, he approached her and begged her to change her evidence and forget the attacks.
The victim, who is now 27, claimed that she ignored him as she wanted justice for him “taking away her happiness during her youth”.
Senior prosecutor Joy Balkaran represented the State.