Clergymen differ on Whyley's sentence
By Yasmin Popescu
On the eve of the verdict of the Bishop Earl Randy Fraser's sex abuse case in Nassau, Grand Bahama clergymen differed on the sentence handed down by the Supreme Court to a fellow man of the cloth, Albert Alexander Whyley.
Earlier this week, Whyley was sentenced to life in prison for the rape of a nine-year-old girl.
While at the Grand Bahama Christian Council's Thanksgiving luncheon yesterday, The Freeport News spoke with president Bishop Arnold Pinder about his organization's view on the Whyley case.
While Pinder did not have a problem with how the case was carried out, he admitted to having an issue with the sentencing.
"The little girl that was molested by one of our ministers, we know the results how he was sentenced to jail. We have an issue with the sentence, because we know there are people who have killed and were given bail. And, we know Mr. Whyley, according to the courts, was found guilty. We also know that if you do the crime you must spend the time, whether you are pastor, bishop, pope or whatever, if you do the crime, spend the time, but we believe that the sentence was too harsh."
The Bishop said that they feel molesting a child is absolutely wrong but, he added, they feel the sentencing was a little too steep.
"We have nothing against the court doing their job and doing what is right, they have to carry out their duties and they did their duties when they found pastor Albert Whyley guilty. I spoke with him on a number of occasions while the trial was going on.
"I?spoke with him behind the prison bars and he told me he didn't do it. To my surprise the court said that he admits that he did it. So they found him guilty and so he have to spend the time."
Past president of the Grand Bahama Christian Council Rev. Dr. Leslie Woodside said, he feels that it is most unfortunate that this has happened.
"There is no need for such a thing to happen, particularly, for those with wives," he continued. "We must understand that God has placed into a woman all that one man needs for the rest of his life. He can never exhaust the resources of a woman. It's unfortunate that this has happened after (Whyley) was sentenced to seven society, he is a risk to the most vulnerable in our society our children," she said, adding that the church elder is a repeat offender.
Kemp said Whyley was a deceptive person who deceived everyone around him in believing he was living a God-fearing life.
Advocating for his client to receive treatment for his illness, Shurland said there were good mitigating factors that came out in the probation report which lend to the belief that his client get the help he needs.
After hearing from both sides, Justice Longley told Whyley that based on the psychiatric report he remains a threat to objects of his condition therefore the appropriate sentence is life imprisonment.
As Whyley's sentence falls under the old sexual offenses law, it does not mean he will spend his natural life at Her Majesty's Prison.
However, should he be granted pardon after serving his sentence and is released from prison, he has to remain crime free for the rest of his life.
And all in the same week in Nassau a magistrate is expected to issue her ruling in the Bishop Earl Randy Fraser sex abuse case today.
Prosecutors allege that Fraser, pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, St. James Road, abused his position of trust by engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl he was counselling between June 2005 and February 2006.
Franklyn Williams, deputy director of Public Prosecutions, led off closing submissions before Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell.
Williams argued that there is no doubt that the complainant was a troubled girl from a dysfunctional family. That, Williams claimed, made her vulnerable to exploitation. The defendant skillfully, cunningly and intentionally manipulated the complainant before isolating and abusing her, Williams charged.
According to Williams, Fraser's testimony indicated that he alone told the truth, and everyone else was lying about him. However, the prosecution contends that certain evidence was produced in the trial by the complainant that could have only been known through an intimate relationship with Fraser.
The prosecution was referring to testimony describing Fraser's bedroom in detail, as well as the description of a scar on Fraser's shoulder that is only visible in a partial state of undress.
In closing, Fraser's attorney Jairam Mangra examined each of the alleged sexual acts between his client and his accuser. Mangra claimed that the prosecution's primary witness, the complainant, was not credible.
Pointing to reported inconsistencies with the dates the alleged sex acts took place, Mangra told the court that the complainant was either mistaken or confused, and her evidence was unreliable and not credible.
Wrapping up his submissions, Mangra said the prosecution failed to prove that each and every alleged sexual act took place by providing evidence and testimony during the trial.
Bethell was scheduled to hand down a decision on the matter when Fraser returned to court October 4, which was apparently rescheduled to today.
This is the second time Fraser has been tried on this allegation as well.
© 2011 The Freeport News