In what has become an absolute mockery of justice, Magistrate Carolita Bethell has again stalled Bishop Earl Randy Fraser’s sex case. This time it is because Fraser’s lead attorney, Wayne Munroe, is allegedly ill.
Mr Munroe conveniently fell ill the day that Fraser was supposed to take the stand.
Jairam Mangra, an associate in Munroe’s firm, informed the court of Mr Munroe’s illness and requested an adjournment.
Prosecutor Franklyn Williams argued that Mr Mangra could carry the case forward in the absence of Mr Munroe. But Acting Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell adjourned the case, as the only witness who showed up was Mr Fraser. This, despite the fact that 22 other witnesses had confiremd they would be there.
Fraser is accused of abusing his position of trust by having sex with a 16-year old girl who he was counseling between June 2005 and February 2006. he allegedly had sex with the girl multiple times at his home and at his office at his church.
Mr Fraser is the pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church on St. James Road.
This is the second time the Fraser case has gone to trial. The first trial ended when Magistrate Marilyn Meeres discharged the case after Fraser’s attorneys submitted a “no case to answer” submission. The prosecution had presented more than enough evidence to convict, including semen stains found in Fraser’s office where the girl testified that they had sex.
The Court of Appeal overturned Magistrate Meeres’ decision because she had “applied the wrong legal principle”. Meeres is still on the bench despite this incompetence.
This retrial, which started last May, has been delayed numerous times. It has become a perfect example of why there is a court case backlog of thousands of cases as Magistrates and Judges grant postponements for the silliest reasons.