Supreme Court Increases Rapist Jail Term From 10 to 25 Years After Appeal
Monrovia – The Supreme Court has confirmed the guilty verdict of a 20-year-old man that raped a 10-year-old girl in 2011.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]
James Marfalon was sentenced to 10 years by the jury at Criminal Court “’E”, an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court but the sentence was extended to 25 years.
Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh reading the opinion said the Supreme Court agreed that Marfalon committed the act based on the facts and supporting evidence adduced during the trial of the case.
The victim testified that on a Friday, February 18, 2011 her brother and the defendant (Marfalon) and herself were watching movies when her brother had to leave because he had been called by his friend to eat, leaving she and the defendant in the room.
She said while watching movies the generator went off and the defendant said he was going to put it back on but it did not come on.
“I tried leaving because the place was dark but when I tried coming out, he held my mouth and carried me inside and started dong rude-rude thing to me (sex).”
In a statement, which her brother confirmed, it added that he was prevented from entering the room, “Because he told me that my sister left”.
The victim’s step father also testified that he and his wife were washing their children’s clothes when his wife saw blood stains on the victim’s trousers.
“My wife noticed blood on the trousers of our daughter, and she called my attention, saying that she didn’t know our daughter had started menstruation.”
He said his wife and her sister took the victim to a local clinic where she explained that she was abused by the defendant.
“The midwife told us that our daughter was menstruating but she was tampered with.”
Defendant Marfalon taking the stand said he was a notorious criminal in the community and that he had been incarcerated on several occasion for the commission of theft and criminal mischief.
But didn’t commit the crime rape as was alleged in the indictment.
The court record shows that the defendant lied when he testified that he rented his generator to a friend a night before the incident.
A testimony which was rebutted by the friend he named that the generator was rented to.
Justice Yuoh in her opinion said the court consider the child’s age and maturity, nature and duration of the abuse, relationship of the child to the offender, the coherence of the statement by the victim and others.
At the time of the incident the defendant was 10 and is now 16 or 17 years.
Yuoh said the trial judge committed no error in overruling the defendant question regarding the inclusion of additional witness’s statements.
She said” We hold that the appellant (Marfalon) failure to prove his alibi in the face of the state incriminating evidence placing him at the scene and the time of the rape, said failure nullifies, dissolves and abolished all presumptions of innocence in his favour and establishes a string inference of his guilt for the commission of the heinous crime of rape.”
Yuoh said the trial judge also erred by failing to take judicial cognizance of the penalty prescribed by the law.
“We hereby affirm and confirm the final judgment of the trial court but with the modification that the sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment imposed is increased to 25 years, commencing as the date of his confinement, with the possibility of parole after 11 years imprisonment,” she stated.