[British Virgin Islands Platinum News] – Oliver Lewis was late yesterday afternoon, December 3, found guilty of four counts of gross indecency with a child involving sexual acts he performed on the 13 year-old boy.
Lewis, 35, a native of Guyana who was on bail, was remanded to prison pending a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, December 9.
Lewis was charged with eight counts of the offence, where it was alleged that the acts were committed between April, May and June 2013. He was found not guilty on two counts.
Further, in relation to the two other counts, the Magistrate has asked for further submissions from counsel before handing down a decision on those. There were issues with dates in the two counts for which a decision was not rendered.
The offence carries a maximum of five years imprisonment or US$3,000 fine, or both. Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo handed down a 21 page decision where she outlined the gory details of the case.
The Magistrate indicated that she found the victim to be credible and that he was very loyal to the defendant, since this was shown even during his testimony. She said the child was candid and did not try to make Lewis out to be a bad person.
Further, she said Lewis was a close friend of the boy’s family through the church and he intentionally groomed the child over time in a sexual manner. The Magistrate indicated that had it not been for the issue with the child’s brother indicating certain things, the victim would not have told his parents what was taking place between him and Lewis.
It was the crown’s case that Lewis would on several occasions pick up the victim from school during lunch breaks and take him to his home where he masturbated in front of the child and influenced the child to masturbate.
He also laid naked on the bed next to the child and rubbed his private parts against the child. He also performed oral sex on the boy. It was further stated that Lewis also took a bath with the boy and they went into the pool.
Lewis had denied the allegations during the trial and stated that he picked up the child from school mainly to have bible sessions with him and talk with him since the child had confided in him that he was depressed and was being ridiculed by his peers.
According to the court records, when Lewis found out that the child told his parents, he texted the child’s father stating that he wanted to kill himself, that he has committed sin against the family and he was ready to face fellowship for his bad ways.
However, the defense had claimed that Lewis sent those messages because he felt that he was wrong by taking the child from school for bible sessions without informing the parents.
Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo said that she cannot phantom this because why would Lewis, who is an avid church member, feel to kill himself for taking the child to bible sessions. She said that even if the child had confided in him about being depressed, he should have informed the family, since he would sometimes visit them for dinner.
The defense had also claimed that the child was upset with Lewis for not purchasing a Samsung Galaxy for him and that the church was on a witch hunt for Lewis, hence, the lies by the child. However, the Magistrate did not buy into this.
She said that from emails, it was clear that after Lewis said he could not afford the phone, the child agreed to a cheaper phone. She also noted that from the evidence, Lewis was more focused on satisfying the child’s sexual needs over his.
Lewis is represented by Attorney-At-Law Stephen Daniels and Senior Crown Counsel Leslie Ann Faulkner prosecuted the case.