Same name lands youth in jail - Locked up for two months as attorney proved innocence

December 11, 2019

Months after being wrongly accused of having sexual intercourse with a person under 16 sometime last year, John Doe*, 20, was freed last Friday of the charges when he made his first appearance in court.

Doe was arrested and charged by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) in May and held in lock-up for two months.

The St Thomas resident had maintained that he had never met the girl.

While in lock-up, his attorney, Alexander Shaw, discovered that another young man, who had the same first and last name as his client, lived in the same community.

Their middle names, however, were different. That other young man died in July.

The girl, who has since had a baby, revealed that she was in a relationship with the other John Doe, as she referred to him as her boyfriend.

She also informed the police that they had arrested the wrong man.

DNA sample

"The investigator insisted that my client was the person, and to deny the allegations, he must do a DNA sample. The DNA was requested in October and the report was made ready in November. The DNA results vindicated my client. The complaint had a child for the perpetrator and gave a description that in no way shape or form matched with my client," Shaw told THE STAR.

Doe's' mother told THE STAR that she knew her son was not guilty of such an act.

"I did not believe. I know he's not that type of person. The Sunday when dem arrest him, I was at work. The arresting officer called from CISOCA and told me that I need to get a lawyer. He was like 'Yuh gonna need a lawyer ... when the time come, you will know for what'. Eventually, they said that they charged him for having sex with a minor, so the Monday I went and got a lawyer," she said.

After paying almost $250,000 for her son's bail in July, she said that he still had to report three times a week to a police station in St Thomas.

"Him seh him don't know the girl and him never see har before inna him life. It was just a long drama. Because of this, him lose him work ... right now him nah work because a how long dem did have him. When he got bailed, he couldn't stay in the area because they said a in the area it happen. Me end up a fi spend money weh me don't have," she said.

Despite the emotional trauma, Doe's mother said that she has no intention of taking legal action against the police. She said any such decision would be up to her son.

*name changed

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