Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mom cries over 'soft' sentence

Nine months for child molester

THE MOTHER of the 13-year-old girl who was molested at a fast-food outlet cried when she heard her daughter's attacker was sentenced to nine months in prison.

The mother, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the child, said child molester Ashumba Francois should have felt the full brunt of the law.

The mother said after the incident her daughter was afraid to sleep alone and questioned what will happen following the man's release from prison. “She asked if he will be coming to kill her,” the mother said.

Francois, 26, of Pleasantville, who entered a guilty plea to the charge of sexual touching, was facing a maximum jail term of ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.

The Express was told that after a person is sentenced there is the option of the accused or the State appealing the leniency or severity within 14 days. On Tuesday the court heard that the incident occurred at 5.15 p.m. on October 6 while the girl was purchasing a meal at the counter in KFC, Library Corner, San Fernando.

Police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said a security guard walked up to the victim, placed his hand on her genitals and made sexual movements. The girl screamed.

Francois ran away and the girl exited the outlet and spoke to her mother, who stopped a marked police vehicle.
The girl gave a report to PC Brent Noel while in her mother's presence. Seedan said Noel went to the nearby Wendy's fast food outlet located at Library Corner, San Fernando, where he spoke to the manager. The officer went to the basement of the establishment where he found Francois hiding in a room. As Francois was escorted out of the food outlet, the girl identified him as the person who had touched her.

The mother told the Express, “If I had put my hand on him, nothing could have stopped me from tearing his face off ... I had to ask for strength to walk away.”

She said. “I asked him, 'Why my daughter?' and he said, 'It was a mistake, I didn't mean to do it'.”
The magistrate told him his actions were “so disgusting” and “a big fella” like himself could not go around touching and violating women and girls. She sentenced him to nine months hard labour.

The mother, who said she got a headache after hearing of the sentence that was passed, added that she hoped Francois is rehabilitated while in prison.

She said allowing for this process to take place was one of the reasons she felt he should have received a longer jail term.
The child is currently preparing to write the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination and went to KFC after lessons on October 6 when the incident occurred.