In a harrowing series of events, a 34-year-old Trade Unionist charged for the alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl was yesterday afternoon found guilty of the offences by a 12-member mixed jury following their deliberations.
Micah Williams, who was represented by Attorney-at-law Asa Stuart Shepherd, was indicted on two counts of Sexual Activity with a Child Family Member.
Appearing for the state were Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs and Narissa Leander.
Between January 1 and January 31, 2016, he engaged in sexual penetration with an eight-year-old girl. Then again on January 6, 2017, he engaged in sexual penetration with the same eight-year-old girl.
Williams is the founder and General-Secretary of the Guyana Natural Resources, Clerical and General Workers Union (GNRC&GWU). The jurors after deliberating for almost two hours returned with unanimous guilty verdicts in respect to both counts of the offence.
For his actions, Justice Jo Ann Barlow sentenced Williams to serve life sentences on both counts, respectively. The two life sentences are to run concurrently and the convict only becomes eligible for parole after serving 20 years behind bars.
Kaieteur News understands that Williams who hails from Linden engaged in vaginal and anal sex with the young girl. The convicted rapist showed no remorse at all after being found guilty by his peers. In fact, Williams maintained his innocence.
He told the court, “This is the most terrifying day of my life. I know to my heart that I did not commit such an act.” He further went on to express his dissatisfaction with the decision of the jurors.
In essence, Justice Barlow told Williams that there is no justification for his actions. The judge reminded him that in his capacity as a Trade Unionist, he advocated for the rights of people; but violated the trust that the little girl had for him.
The trial Judge told Williams, “I don’t find I could be lenient with you. You cannot claim ignorance of sexual abuse and its consequences.
Reminding Williams that he testified to participating in campaigns against sexual abuse, Justice Barlow stressed that the emotional scars of such acts will have an effect on the young rape survivor.
During a plea in mitigation, Shepherd related that Williams, the sole breadwinner for his family, has always been an active member in the community. The lawyer asked the judge to take into consideration that this was the first time his client has been charged with an offence of such nature.
The court was however unable to allow the reading of an impact statement detailing the views of the young girl about the incident, since her signature was not affixed to that type written statement. During his time in incarceration, Williams will undergo rehabilitative programmes for sexual offenders.
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