A former West Coast Demerara (WCD) teacher, who was before the courts for sexual activity with a child, was found not guilty by majority jury.
Thirty-three-year-old Royden Rankin on Tuesday afternoon walked out arm in arm with his wife who was in tears of joy, after he was freed of the crime.
The former school teacher thanked the Almighty moments after an 11-1 jury found him not guilty of the offence of sexual activity with a child by abusing a position of trust.
The incident was said to have occurred in a closed room on January 30, 2013; the alleged victim was 15 years old at the time. This publication understands that during the hours-long deliberation, one male juror held out that the accused should have been found guilty, given the age of the victim.
After the 33-year-old teacher was freed, Presiding Judge Justice Jo-Ann Barlow told him that he did not draw the line between teacher and student and warned him that in future, he should draw the line as the adult. The Judge further related that 15 year old’s cannot be blamed when they fall victim to such activities.
In April 2013, Rankin was charged for the offence and had spent time incarcerated as he awaited trial. He was represented by Defence Attorneys Lyndon Amsterdam and Latoya Roberts, while the State Prosecutors were Shawnette Austin and Siand Dhurjon. (Guyana Times)