Rape Conviction for Brother of Antigua Prime Minister
Addison Browne was found guilty of raping a minor in his private car when he was tasked with dropping her home in the High Court after an animated jury trial.
Last week, the victim was the first witness in the trial before Justice Ann-Marie Smith.
The court heard that she had known the accused – who is the brother of Prime Minister Gaston Browne – for about five months before the incident occurred in April 2019 as a bus driver for the route where she resided at the time.
When the young girl and her aunt were waiting outside their home for a bus to go into town on the day of the incident, the defendant pulled up and offered them a ride.
The man, who is in his early 40s, told them that he had to stop at KFC first. Her aunt said she did not mind, and he asked if he could pick up her friend.
The defendant dropped her aunt and her friend in front of the St. John’s Police Station after making those stops. But “my aunt told him that she forgot her phone home, and if he could drop me back home for it. He said okay, no problem,” the girl recounted.
According to her, she fell asleep on her way to the house because “I had a car accident the week before, and the pills they gave me made me sleepy”.
The child said that she felt the car stop and opened her eyes to realise that her hands and feet were tied with a white rope. The man had stopped under a tree somewhere in Potters.
“I was scared,” she said.
She recalled that the man came to the back seat where she was sitting, pulled back the seat, pulled down her underwear and removed his pants.
“I was trying to come out, but I couldn’t come out of the rope,” she stated.
She claimed that he then had sexual intercourse with her, before pulling her underwear back up, and putting his pants on.
He then drove her home. The girl said that it wasn’t until they got to the house that he untied her and threatened to kill both her and her mother if she told anyone what had happened.
She said that, in fright, she ran straight into the house and took a shower.
Several other witnesses also took the stand, including a doctor who examined the victim.
In the end, a nine-member jury sided with the prosecution and convicted Browne.
He is set to be sentenced for the crime on July 15.