After spending almost 10 years on remand, Eugene St Romain, who is charged for the rape and murder of 13-year-old Verlinda Joseph, was finally able to make bail today, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.
St. Romain was brought down from the Bordelais Correctional Facility today to sign his bond and leave the custody of the State until his next trial date.
He spent his first moments of freedom speaking to the media and hanging with friends.
The defendant was granted $60,000 bail over a year ago but had been unable to come up with the money.
His attorney Martinus Francois has fought many battles against the State over his client’s constitutional rights. One of those battles was won several years ago with the High Court granting bail.
Though St. Romain has successfully made bail, thanks to a charity effort, he now faces the trial of the rape and murder of the teenager whose body was found in a banana field in December 2002.
St. Romain, the victim’s stepfather, was arrested and charged for the death in 2004. Since then he has been on remand until he was able to make bail today.
St. Romain is among several St. Lucians who are languishing in the local prison on remand for more than five years – a trend which has attracted the concern of the United States in several human rights reports.