The Queen v John Dexter Seaman

JudgeWolffe J
Judgment Date30 November 2023
CourtSupreme Court (Bermuda)
Docket NumberCRIMINAL JURISDICTION Case No. 36 of 2019
The Queen
John Dexter Seaman

[2019] SC (Bda) 95 Cri.


The Hon. Mr. Justice Juan P. Wolffe, Puisne Judge


In The Supreme Court of Bermuda

Unlawful Carnal Knowledge — Attempted Unlawful Carnal Knowledge — Sexual Exploitation


Ms. Nicole Smith for the Prosecution

The Defendant appears unrepresented 1

Wolffe J

On the 16 th May 2023 a Jury, by majority verdicts on eight (8) counts on the Indictment, found the Defendant guilty of two (2) counts of Attempted Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (“UCK”) contrary to section 180(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1907 (the “Criminal Code”)(Counts 1 and 6); two (2) counts of UCK contrary to section 180(1) of the Criminal

Code; three (3) counts of Sexual Exploitation contrary to section 182A(1)(a) of the Criminal Code) (Counts 3, 7 & 8); and one (1) count of Sexual Exploitation by a person in the position of trust contrary to section 182B(1) of the Criminal Code (Count 5)

I directed the Jury to find the Defendant not guilty of a further count of sexual exploitation which was Count 9 on the Indictment.

Summary of the Evidence at Trial

The Jury heard and accepted by way of their guilty verdicts cogent evidence of historical incidents of UCK, attempted UCK and sexual exploitation committed by the Defendant on two victims who at all material times were children and were sisters. In order to maintain their anonymity I will not name the child victims and I will simply refer to them as Victim A and Victim B. Victim A was the eldest of the two.


I should forewarn any reader of this Sentence that the details of the sexual acts performed on the victims by the Defendant are quite graphic and troubling.

The offences committed in respect of Victim A

Victim A told the Jury that in 1992 when she was 11 years old 2 the Defendant came to live in her home where she stayed with her mother, father, two sisters and her brother. At some point in time the Defendant, who was then about 30 years old, was invited to move into her home where he slept in Victim A's brother's room. At first the Defendant was nice to Victim A and would take her to restaurants and fishing off the rocks near her home. The Defendant ingratiated himself to Victim A's family to the extent that he was considered to be a family friend and someone whom Victim A trusted. Unfortunately, there came a time when the way in which the Defendant treated Victim A changed for the worse and his interaction with her became to be of a sexual nature.


On the first occasion, and in respect of Count 1 on the Indictment which is the attempted UCK offence, the Defendant had taken Victim A to see a late movie in his white van and when they returned home about 1.00am the Defendant parked the van outside of the home. Victim A was 11 years old at the time. They both ended up in the back of the van where the Defendant put his hands up Victim A's shirt and began touching her breasts. He then did the following: put his hands in her underwear and took off her underwear; proceeded to have oral sex on her (meaning that he placed his mouth on her vagina); and then pulled his penis out of his pants and tried to insert it into her vagina. Victim A said that it was too painful for her when the Defendant tried to do this and therefore the Defendant did not have intercourse with her. She also stated that the Defendant did not have a condom on and that the Defendant's attempt to have intercourse with her did not take place over a long period of time.


In respect of Count 2 which is the first UCK offence, Victim A recounted for the Jury that when she was still 11 years old she was at the Defendant's business place located in the City of Hamilton after doing gymnastics at her school. The Defendant had a mattress in a back office where he caused Victim A to lay on her back. He then proceeded to do oral sex on her (meaning that he put his mouth on her vagina). He then put his penis inside of her which lasted for about 10 minutes and he stopped after he ejaculated into a cloth. The Defendant then took Victim A home and told her not to tell anybody about what happened because he would get into trouble and be incarcerated. Victim A added that prior to the Defendant having sexual intercourse with her that she was a virgin.


In respect of Count 3 which is the first sexual exploitation offence, Victim A stated that when she was 13 years old she was again at the Defendant's place of business when the Defendant waited until the business premises were cleared of people and then took her to the same back room where the mattress was located. Once there she engaged in oral sex with the Defendant by putting her mouth on his penis and by the Defendant putting his mouth on her vagina.


In respect of Count 4 which is the second UCK offence, Victim A said that at the same place and time that the offence in Count 3 occurred the Defendant had sexual intercourse with her which lasted for about 10 minutes. As was done on a previous occasion the Defendant pulled his penis out of her vagina before he ejaculated. The Defendant then took Victim A back home where they both were still living, and once again the Defendant told her not to tell anybody what had occurred.


In respect of Count 5 which is the sexual exploitation whilst in a position of trust offence, Victim A detailed that she was 14 or 15 years old when the Defendant came into her bedroom where she was sleeping on the top bunk of her bunk bed. It was nighttime and the Defendant woke her up and when she moved to the edge of the bed he performed oral sex on her by putting his mouth on her vagina. She said that the door of her bedroom opened and then door closed back and that the Defendant told her that it was her father who opened and closed the door. The Defendant then continued to have oral sex with her and when he finished she went back to bed and the Defendant went back to his room. As he had said on previous occasions the Defendant told her not to tell anybody. Victim A said that at this time she saw the Defendant as her “boyfriend” and she knew that he was “30 something” years old.


It is important to highlight that Victim A's credibility was fully tested by Mr. Charles Richardson, the Defendant's then lawyer at trial, who sought to persuade the Jury that she could not be believed and that therefore her evidence should be outright rejected. The basis for Mr. Richardson's attempt to discredit Victim A was that when she was 15 years old she made false allegations against three boys who were her neighborhood friends. She told police that the three boys had raped her but after a short while she admitted to police that she lied. She explained that she made up the allegations in an attempt not to get into trouble with her mother for staying out all night with another boy from her school and whom she had an intimate relationship with.


Another quiver in Mr. Richardson's bow in his attempt to characterize Victim A as a bull-faced liar was that Victim A then made further untrue allegations that her father had inappropriately touched her for a sexual purpose. Victim A admitted that this too was a lie and she explained that she lied because she was mad with her father for getting her older sister impregnated (Victim A and her older sister do not share the same father but do have the same mother). Victim A said that her entire family was devastated by this revelation and that mentally she was “not in a good space” meaning that from the ages of 11 to 15, and during the course of the acts committed by the Defendant, that she was suffering from depression and anxiety and that was prescribed anti-depressant medication.


Through Mr. Richardson the Defendant also criticized Victim A for waiting until 2018 to report the matter to police. This, Mr. Richardson argued before the Jury, went to show that Victim A fabricated her evidence. Explaining this delay, Victim A said that she waited so long to report the incidents because what the Defendant put her through during her childhood resulted in her using crack cocaine to cope with her trauma. She said that she was a drug addict for 13 years of her life and after being clean and sober she was able in 2018 (when she was 39 years old) to report the matter to police.


Of course, one can only speculate what was in the minds of the Jury when assessing the evidence of Victim A as to her victimization at the hands of the Defendant. However, it would not be a stretch to say that the Jury could have concluded that even though Victim A may have lied about the three boys raping her and about her father committing sexual offences on her they could still, after considering the totality of the evidence heard at trial, go on to accept Victim A's evidence that the Defendant committed the sexual offences on her. Particularly if the Jury also accepted Victim A's explanation for lying about the three boys and her father. Moreover, the Jury could have also accepted and understood her explanation for the delay in reporting the matter to the police.

The offences committed in respect of Victim B

Victim B said that she was 5 years old when the Defendant came to live in her home. She said that at some point her interactions with the Defendant involved him inappropriately touching her on numerous occasions as well as the Defendant performing sexual acts on her and her performing sexual acts on him.


In respect of Count 8 which is a sexual exploitation offence 3, Victim B gave evidence that at a time before she was 7 or 8 years old she was getting ready for school in the morning when the Defendant came into her room and wanted to perform a sexual act on her. She could not remember if Victim A was there or how the act initiated but she could remember that the Defendant put his penis in her mouth. She did not tell anybody that this had happened.


To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT