Something Amiss in Bishop Randy Fraser Case

Tuesday 17th, August 2010 / 10:22 Published by

Disgraced Bishop Earl Randy Fraser is on trial for the second time. He is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old member of his church who had come to him for counseling.

Government prosecutors allege that Fraser, the pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church on St James Road, had sex with the girl in his church office and at his marital home in Eastwood Estates on various days between July 2005 and February 2006.

DNA evidence proves that sexual fluids were found in abundance in the pastor’s office. The girl claims that Fraser bought her gifts, gave her lunch money and left explicit messages on her voice mail. The alleged incident came to a head when the girl’s relatives interrupted a church service and confronted Fraser about the girl’s claims.

Yesterday, Fraser’s lawyer Wayne Munroe urged Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell to discharge the case, claiming that the charges against Fraser were not properly framed.

Munroe, who has been publicly accused of “fixing” cases, said that Fraser is only charged with one count of unlawful sexual intercourse; however, numerous offenses were disclosed during the prosecution’s case.

That, of course, is a ridiculous argument that has no legal basis for a dismissal.  It is good and proper  for prosecutors to bring in evidence of other similar crimes that a suspect has committed to show that a pattern of criminality exists.  Mr Fraser is not on trial for the other crimes, they are only presented to show the character of the individual involved.

Franklyn Williams, the deputy director of public prosecutions, disagrees with Munroe, arguing the alleged defect was not fatal to the prosecution’s case.

Magistrate Bethell, who has been accused of soliciting bribes from defendants, will rule on the no case-to-answer submissions on September 2 at 2:00pm.

This is the second time that Fraser has been tried on the allegation. Allegedly corrupt magistrate Marilyn Meeres foolishly and wrongly discharged the case against Fraser in 2007. Fortunately, the Court of Appeal overturned her decision and ordered a new trial after finding she had applied the wrong legal principle.

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