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Community welcomes Minors conviction

Zane DeSilva, the transport minister, condemned the crimes of David Minors, the former road safety officer, who was jailed for five years for sex offences against an underage child.

Minors was imprisoned for sex offences committed last year against a 14-year-old boy whom he coached in the arts.

Mr DeSilva noted Minors had no longer worked for the Transport Control Department at the time of the offences.

He called it “disturbing to know he worked in a position of trust with our children”.

Mr DeSilva offered his “deepest sympathies to the victim and his family”.

Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford of the Bermuda Police Service hailed the sentencing as a “win for victims of sexual assault everywhere”.

He called the impact of such actions on the vulnerable “callous and reprehensible”.

“People who abuse their position of trust to prey on vulnerable members of our society should take note that the police and criminal justice system are here to help, and we will work to obtain justice, as has been done in this case.”

He acknowledged that some victims might struggle to report a sexual assault in a small community, but that police had shown they could get justice.

Although Mr Glasford declined to comment on specifics, he noted that the case involved a person in “a position of significant trust”.

The sentence “reflects how dimly these actions are viewed”, he added.

“We hope that this will spur other persons who may have fallen prey to similar conduct to come forward and speak up against their abusers.

“We are here and the Bermuda Police Service is ready to listen.”

Kelly Hunt, the executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said that aggravating factors such as holding a position of trust, as well as planning and grooming behaviour, should be considered by the court as “serious crimes against children”.

She said: “Offences of this nature are not only harmful but have a lifelong impact.

“We implore Parliament to consider the legislative framework and sentencing guidelines outlined in the UK, which more readily impose the maximum penalties for those who sexually exploit our youth.

“Once again, we ask that the three-pronged approach to sex offenders be adopted with treatment, ongoing supervision on release, and indefinite restrictions surrounding access to children.”

Ms Hunt added: “As it stands, paedophiles can commit multiple offences, serve time running concurrently as opposed to consecutively, leave after two-thirds of a minimal sentence, and then go back to positions of trust.

“This is simply unacceptable and we must demand better for the protection of our children.”

Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, said: “Our hope is that the child victim receives the psychological healing he deserves, the child's family receive support and healing, and Mr Minors's family receive counselling and support.

“We also hope that Mr Minors will receive the most up-to-date sex offender treatment while he is at Westgate. He will be properly assessed regarding risk upon his release to determine whether or not his sexual thoughts have changed and whether or not he will be considered a safe adult around children.”

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity's Epsilon Theta Lambda Chapter, which Minor belonged to, took swift steps to condemn his crimes.

The group describes itself as “a group of diverse men who strive to develop leaders, promote brotherhood, academic excellence and provide service and advocacy for the community of Bermuda”.

The statement continues:

“The Epsilon Theta Lambda Chapter does not, in any way, shape or form, condone sexual abuse of any kind. We denounce the behaviour of David Minors and other sexual offenders who prey on the innocent and extend our sincerest thoughts and concerns to the victim of these heinous offences.

“The moment that the offences were brought to our attention by the authorities, the matter was referred to the District Director and then the Eastern Region of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated which placed an immediate cease and desist status on David Minors.

“Further recommendations and steps will be taken by the National Headquarters in due course now that the matter is adjudicated. We want to be clear that none of the offences stem from any programs or interaction related to the community initiatives that we operate.

“In addressing our community on the issue of sexual abuse, we want to be as open and responsive as possible. For the past 69 years, the Epsilon Theta Lambda Chapter has worked earnestly to be part of the solution to protecting the very fabric of our society, our children. ETL wishes to assure the public that we will continue to work to protect our children and that we have taken steps to ensure that all members of ETL who work with vulnerable persons are SCARS certified.

“ETL has also adopted a Vulnerable Persons Policy that is provided to the parents and individuals of all young people in our programme. We acknowledge the frustration and anger in the community regarding this topic. As servants of our community, we understand that there is a higher level of accountability to be held. We desire our organisation to be held to the highest standard.

“It is our endeavour to prioritise healing at this time and we hope that the victim and his family receive the necessary treatment and support that they deserve. As leaders in our community, it is our responsibility to assist in addressing this repulsive behaviour and stamping out not only sexual abuse, but abuse in all its forms.”

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

David Minors was sentenced to 5 years in prison (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published February 28, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated February 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm)

Community welcomes Minors conviction

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