Court quashes conviction of Pinay accused of abusing young ward
THE High Court on Friday ordered the release from prison of a Filipina domestic worker who has been in jail for 18 months now after being found guilty to sexually abusing her then eight-year-old ward.
Saying that the District Court judge who tried the cases in 2016 made the decision contrary to the evidence given by the boy, the court quashed S.R.M.’s convictions in three charges of indecent assault. The District Court had sentenced the Filipina to four and a half years in prison.
The defendant, who said she was a lesbian and had two long-term relationships with women, wept in the dock when Justice Andrew Macrae said that her convictions were quashed and her sentence was set aside.
The court said that while the trial judge accepted that the boy was able to insert his penis in the private part of the helper, who allegedly manipulated the boy’s sex organ, the boy stated in his evidence that his penis was “soft” during the incidents.
“In respect of all three incidents, the judge found that ‘the state of erection was achieved after the defendant had molested X’s penis for a few minutes’.
“The problem with these findings is that they contradicted X’s actual evidence in his video recorded interview. First, he said his penis was ‘soft’ when it entered inside the appellant’s vagina. Secondly, his evidence was that it remained ‘soft’ even after the appellant’s manual manipulation,” the judgment said.
The court added that it was “one thing to reject part of a witness’s evidence as exaggerated or improbable or untrue: it is another to find that the witness meant the complete opposite of what he in fact said.”
In his evidence, the boy said the defendant was nanny since he was four years old, and left their employ in the middle of 2015 when he was 10 years old.
The boy said there were several incidents that he was made to do a bad thing by the domestic helper, but he was afraid to tell about them to his parents or his sister.
The boy replied “yes” to the questions of the defense lawyer whether the domestic helper asked him to do something “very wrong” and something he “didn’t want” to do.
He said he only understood what was happening when he was taught in school about sex education.