Vigilantes convicted after beating, cutting scrotum of child molester
Two men who took the law into their hands and exacted jungle justice on a man who sexually assaulted a girl in their rural community have been convicted of assault charges and could end up in prison.
By a 5-1 majority verdict, a jury found Roger Gillings, 45, and Evon Dent, 38, guilty of unlawful wounding for binding the convicted child molester with cord and beating him with a machete before slashing his scrotum.
Gillings and Dent were found not guilty of wounding with intent in the verdict, which was handed down in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court on Thursday. They are to be sentenced on July 12.
The 45-year-old victim of the 2013 attack in the small St Elizabeth community of Lititz was convicted three years later for buggery and sexual touching involving the female child. He is now serving a 13-year sentence.
His name is being withheld to protect the identity of the child.
Amid reports that residents in the community took issue with Gillings and Dent being prosecuted for their actions, Paula Llewellyn, the nation’s chief prosecutor, said her office has a duty to uphold the law.
“On a human level, one can understand the sympathy [for Gillings and Dent]. In the court of public opinion, jungle justice always seems appropriate, but we are obligated to carry out our duties within the law,” said Llewellyn, the director of public prosecutions.
In the end, she said, the administration of justice triumphed.
“He [the child molester] faced the court for what he did and then he placed his trust in the justice system and got his day in court,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.
Prosecutors Maxine Jackson and Syleen O’Gilvie led evidence during the trial of Gillings and Dent that on September 10, 2013, they confronted the child molester on his farm.
The man, who was brought from prison to give evidence during the trial, testified that before the beating started, Gillings delivered an ominous warning.
“You know how long me a look fi you, raper bwoy,” he said Gillings shouted, before pulling a machete and using it to slap him over his back.
Soon after, he said Dent used a piece of wood to hit him as well.
The man said following a brief tussle, Gillings and Dent, along with two other men who accompanied them, subdued him and placed a piece of electrical wire around his neck. The electrical wire was also used to bind his hands and feet, he testified.
The convicted child molester said he was dragged through the streets, carried by his attackers, then transported in a motor vehicle until they got to a shop in an area known as ‘Common’.
Once he got there, the man said Gillings started beating him with a machete before pulling down his trousers. “You not going have any more p**** to f*** again,” the man said he was told, before Gillings took out a ratchet knife and “cut me seed”.
He said he was spared after another man pleaded with them to stop and suggested that they instead hand him over to the police.