In the final stages of the trial against 54-year-old Andre Stedman, who was found guilty of the rape and indecent assault of a girl under the age of 13, the prosecution and defence on Friday presented their arguments for aggravating and mitigating factors.
“I would ask the court to start at 12 years,” said defence attorney Stephen Daniels, comparing the case to a previous manslaughter case where the defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a crime that resulted in loss of life.
The maximum sentence for rape is life, Mr. Daniels said, adding that the maximum sentence for indecent assault is three years.
He conceded that there were aggravating factors, including a significant age difference; a breach of trust between the complainant and the defendant; the fact that the crime was opportunistic in nature; the fact that the crime occurred in the complainant’s home; and a lack of remorse shown for the crime.
But his list of mitigating factors included the fact that no weapon was used; the fact that no injuries or pregnancy resulted; and the fact that Mr. Stedman was a first-time offender.
He also asked that the defendant receive a concurrent sentence for the charges.
Prosecutor Leslie Ann-Faulkner argued that rape is the most serious sexual offence. The complainant, she added, was asleep in her bed and she was a virgin at the time.
“To be taken in that way,” Ms. Faulkner said, “should add to the aggravating factors.”
Though the prosecution accepted that the man held no prior convictions, Ms. Faulkner also pointed out that throughout the trial he maintained his innocence rather than pleading guilty and showing remorse for the crime.
Mr. Stedman’s sentencing is scheduled for June 21.