A 25-year-old man who raped a girl at her 13th birthday party was on Monday sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at the High Court in Essequibo.
The sentence was imposed by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry. In November, a 12-member jury found Kemo Calvin Chase guilty of engaging in sexual activity with the 13-year-old girl in March 2013.
Reports are that Chase and the then teenage girl are known to each other. On the day in question, he attended the young woman’s birthday party after which he went into her bedroom.
There, he told the young lady that he had a “gift” for her. He then held her down and raped her. During a sentencing hearing on Monday, the victim, through an impact statement, said that she was frequently raped by Chase.
According to her, every birthday, she is forced to relive the trauma of the incident. She expressed that ever since she was raped, she feels “hopeless” and “unloved”.
Chase, in his address to the court, maintained that he is innocent of the crime. He claimed that the victim’s story was fabricated.
His lawyer, Latchmi Dindayal, during a plea in mitigation, asked the court to give his client a suspended sentence on the ground that he is a good candidate for rehabilitation.
Having considered the nature of the offence, the fact that Chase showed no remorse and the physical and psychological trauma the victim endured, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry found that a custodial sentence would be appropriate in the circumstances.
The Judge, in sentencing the rape convict, considered that he was only 17 when he committed the offence. She described him as being “young and immature”.
In the end, the Judge handed Chase a 12-year jail sentence. State Counsel Tiffini Lyken presented the case for the prosecutor.