More legal shenanigans and delays in the Bishop Randy Fraser sex trial.
Fraser will appear in court a third time this week as lawyers and the judge try to fix a date for the continuation of his trial.
The disgraced bishop is accused of having sex with a teenage member of his Pilgrim Baptist Church, on St. James Road, who had come to him for counseling.
Fraser abused his position of trust by coercing the girl into having sex while he was supposed to have been counseling her.
Fraser’s lawyer, Wayne Munroe, has tried every legal trick in the book to delay and/or thwart the trial, from not being available for trial dates, to filing a motion for dismissal based on the ridiculous assertion that each time Fraser had sex with the girl needed to be filed as a separate case.
Exercising a rare example of wisdom, Magistrate Bethel determined that there was enough evidence for Fraser to stand trial and rejected Munroe’s silly “no case to answer” submission earlier this month.
So, all that remains is to set a date for the trial. Easier said than done.
Magistrate Bethel wants to wrap this up before the end of the year. However, lawyer Munroe and prosecutor Franklyn Williams can not seem to agree on a date when both would be availabe for Fraser, who plans to call 25 defence witnesses, to waste the court’s time for three days in a row.
Magistrate Bethel said, “I have made three attempts, wasted my time yesterday morning, yesterday afternoon and today.
“Now we are going to get me three days this year before the middle of December. “This is an old criminal trial, and I would like it dealt with as soon as possible.”
This is Fraser’s second trial. The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after finding another – allegedly corrupt – magistrate exercised the wrong legal principle in ruling that Fraser did not have to enter a defense to the charge.
One wonders… if Fraser were sitting in Fox Hill prison while waiting for trial, if things wouldn’t move along a bit faster.