(CMC) — An Antiguan High Court judge has sentenced a father to 18 years in jail after he admitted to raping his 11-year-old daughter.
The court heard that the child was raped at least three times by the 40-year-old man between 2018 and 2019.
“I don’t know what got into you…you are clearly a person in need of some form of psychiatric treatment and I hope you will get it and you will come to terms with yourself and ask for forgiveness,” Justice Stanley John said while imposing the sentence on Tuesday.
The court was told that in February 2018, the complainant and her brother were removed from the custody of their mother and placed with the defendant by welfare officials due to allegations that they were being beaten by their mother.
The child went to live with her father who was in a relationship and one day while his partner was not home, he entered the child’s room while she was sleeping on her stomach, pulled down her clothes and proceeded to have sex with her.
He then threatened to beat her if she told anyone, so she kept silent. In August 2019, the accused raped his daughter again in the same manner, repeating the threats.
The court heard that the incestuous activity continued that same night when the victim and her step-mother were sleeping in the same bed and the accused climbed in between them.
The next morning, the woman asked the child if her father had sex with her and she confessed and when confronted told the girlfriend that he did so because she was not having a sexual relationship with him.
While the stepmother did not report the matter to the police, she moved out of the home and the matter came to public attention during a quarrel between the two ex-lovers.
A person who had witnessed the quarrel informed the child’s mother of the situation and she reported the matter to the police.
The father, whose name is not being disclosed to protect the child, admitted to three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, a plea which afforded him the customary one-third reduction in the 30-year sentence that Justice John started with.
The convicted man was given 18 years for each count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The sentences will run concurrently.
“I hope that this type of situation never comes before the court of Antigua and Barbuda again,” the judge said.