Jamaica
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Teen overcomes trauma of sex assaults to achieve academic success

A teenage girl who was the victim of a string of sexual assaults, starting when she was nine years old, seemingly, has overcome her ordeal and is now doing well academically, her mother has revealed.

The disclosure came yesterday, hours after an elderly family member was convicted by a jury in the Hanover Circuit Court for sexually assaulting the teen over a three-year period, starting in 2015.

He was found guilty of grievous sexual assault and attempting to have sex with a person under the age of 16, prosecutors confirmed.

His name was not disclosed to protect the child’s identity.

The trial of the elderly man included evidence from clinical psychologist Georgia Rose, who was assigned by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to work with the child victim.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31.

Family members believe the ordeal caused her to attempt suicide in 2021, leading to another sexual assault, this time by a male aid worker at the Noel Holmes Hospital, also in Hanover, where she was taken for medical care.

Nursing aide Damion Bigby, 46, was convicted last year of indecent assault for fondling the teen while she was hospitalised after the suicide attempt.

CSEC passes

A year after the incident at the Noel Holmes Hospital, the teen secured six subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level, her mother told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday.

Her name is also being withheld.

The teen is awaiting the scores for three other subjects she sat during this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency exams.

Her mother believes that the dramatic improvement is due to the counselling she received.

“She got the opportunity to talk about the incident … because she was withholding that from everybody,” said the mother of the now 17-year-old.

“Since she got that opportunity to talk, along with getting counselling, she has improved in every way. She is doing very well.”

She acknowledged that her daughter’s ordeal was very “traumatic” for the family but said that she is “very satisfied” that the justice system provided some consolation.

“It was a very disturbing, disgraceful, and traumatic incident, which was affecting myself and other family members. It affected me mentally, physically, and emotionally, but I’m satisfied that I got justice,” she said.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com