August 06, 2014
A 12-year-old girl has denied that her mother coached her to make up sexual assault claims against a man.
Ovando Knowles, 23, is accused of indecently assaulting the child and having sexual intercourse with her on numerous occasions between December 31, 2009 and June 12, 2013. The alleged incidents occurred when the complainant was aged seven through 10.
Knowles, who is in custody, has denied the allegations at his trial before Senior Justice Jon Isaacs.
The girl told a jury yesterday that Knowles molested her when she lived with a relative on a Family Island and when they both moved back to New Providence.
The girl said she kept silent about the alleged abuse because Knowles allegedly "threatened to kill my older sister".
Knowles allegedly molested the girl for the last time last June when she told a family friend that he had squeezed her bottom and forcibly kissed her.
She also revealed that he had allegedly molested her when they both lived on an island.
That's when a formal complaint was made to the police.
During cross-examination, the defendant's lawyer Keith Seymour asked, "Who put this in your head to make representation to the police?"
The girl replied, "No one. It actually happened."
Seymour continued, "I'm suggesting to you that your mother put that in your head."
The girl replied, "No, she did not."
The girl's mother also denied that she was trying to jail Knowles because she did not like him or his mother.
The mother of eight testified that at one point Knowles and his mother lived with her. She said she evicted them because they refused to help out with expenses.
She said, "If you don't pay your bills, you have to go."
The mother denied that she had demanded $1,000 from Knowles' mother to pay the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and when she did not get the money, she said, "That's all right. Ovando going to jail."
The mother replied, "To put [my daughter] on display in front of all these people to be humiliated -- no."
Darell Taylor is the prosecutor.
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News date : 08/06/2014 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories