High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds did not hold back today as he admonished 32-year-old Damon Assanah who has been sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old girl.
“Removing you from society, at least for a while, is the least that a court can do in its attempt at joining forces with the rest of civil society to combat, if not overturn the scourge of rape, incest, and other deplorable forms of sexual violence being meted out to women and children in our beloved country,” Justice Reynolds said.
Assanah of Victoria, East Coast Demerara, who fathers a four-year-old daughter, had been found unanimously guilty by a jury last month of raping a 13-year-old girl between November 1 and 31, 2015.
Assanah is known to the victim who is now 19. Between January 1 and 31, 2015, he called the girl’s mother’s phone and asked the girl to meet him. They met at the back of her yard next to a turtle pen.
While there, he instructed the girl to get undress. He took off his pants, after which he told the child to bend over. When she complied, he raped her.
In October 2015, the teenager’s mother sent her to the shop to purchase an item.
On her way there, she met Assanah, who held on to her hand and placed her in his car. The man then drove off to his home, where he raped the girl again. He also raped the girl between November 1 and 31, 2015.
In early December 2015, the girl attended school, where she started to vomit. Her mother was called in. The girl was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was made to undergo a blood test.
The test confirmed that she was seven weeks’ pregnant; the pregnancy was later aborted. The girl later confided in her mother about what had transpired between her and Assanah. He was subsequently arrested and prosecuted.
“Real men bow their heads in shame at such conduct,” the Judge told the child rapist who appeared in court via Zoom.
He reminded the father of one that he chose to defile the young girl in the most despicable way, not once, not twice, but three times. From the findings of the probation report, the Judge noted that Assanah displayed no remorse for his actions.
“And so adult males, big men must leave them alone…,” the Judge said as he reprimanded Assanah for his actions which have left the teen traumatized.
The Judge further said to him that was is ironic that he would father a little girl soon after committing these bastardly offences.
“It left me feeling depressed”
In a victim impact statement that was read aloud in court by a counsellor, the teenager said: “What I went through after being raped has really impacted my life. After being raped by someone who I have known all those years…Sometimes I felt as if I cannot trust anyone close to me anymore. This has had a negative impact on my life. It left me feeling really depressed.”
“He [Assanah] returned to the streets and dragged my name through the mud with his friends and family telling them what he did to me and all the blame was cast on me saying I wanted it. He then tried to torment me and my late mother. My mom and I were so ashamed to walk the road. We would always take another direction to get to or from home in order to avoid him. Every time he saw me and my mom, he would grab his crotch and sing songs.”
“I dropped out of school because I was not only mocked by classmates but also by teachers because I became pregnant. I felt all alone and scared for my life because this man was still free after what he did to me..”
She added: “My mother once fought for this matter for me, her only child… It so happened that during the process she passed away. But I want to thank God for answering my prayers…My mom can rest in peace knowing that justice has been served. I would like to see this man put away for a long time so he can no longer torment me or did what he did to me to another girl.”
Throughout his trial, Assanah was represented by Attorney-at-law Ravindra Mohabir, while the case for the Prosecution was presented by State Counsel Sarah Martin and State Counsel Nafeeza Baig.