REGIONAL: Convicted child rapist set free in Antigua

By Antigua Newsroom

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courtA man convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl twice in 2010 was released today after the Court of Appeal determined the trial judge erred in giving proper directions to the jury.

Jurors convicted Verbin Bowen of two count of rape in 2014 after hearing testimony that the man raped the child in his vehicle after driving her to some bushes in Bendals.

Bowen, who was 42-years old at the time the crimes were said to have taken place, denied the allegations when he gave testimony at the trial.

By virtue of him not having any previous convictions, the man was deemed by the court to be of good character at time of the trial.

On Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecutions, Anthony Armstrong conceded to the point that the trial judge fell short of indicating to the jury that Bowen’s previous good character means that he is more likely to tell the truth than someone who is not of good character.

The judge in his directions to the jury, merely stated that Bowen’s good character was a positive thing and that jurors should take it into account when considering whether to accept what he had said in his testimony.

The Court of Appeal agreed the directions given did not adequately address the issue of good character and the conviction was declared unsafe and was quashed.

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