Case Caption: Antoniel Castor v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2010-0097Date: 09/28/2012Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution leading to convictions for unlawful sexual contact, aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape, and child abuse stemming from a series of encounters between the defendant and the 11-year-old daughter of the adult girlfriend with whom he resided, the convictions are affirmed. There was sufficient evidence to support the convictions upon a showing that he was not married to the young victim, he used his position of authority to perpetrate the sexual contacts, and penetrated the victim within the charged timeframe for the crimes. Nor was it reversible as plain error for the Superior Court to fail, sua sponte, to declare a mistrial after the prosecutor to referred during opening statement and closing argument to the victim requesting that the jury return a guilty verdict, in light of the overwhelming evidence of guilt in this case and the instructions directing the jury not to treat any argument or statement from the attorneys as evidence and to convict only based on the evidence presented from the witnesses and exhibits. Under 14 V.I.C. § 104, while an individual can be charged and convicted of violating multiple provisions of the Virgin Islands Code, that individual may only be punished for one offense for each discrete act or indivisible course of conduct. Here, while the defendant was charged with several distinct acts over several months, he was nonetheless convicted and sentence was imposed for more than one crime based on specific individual acts. This was plain error even though the trial court provided for the sentences to run concurrently. Each of the defendant's convictions is affirmed, and the matter is remanded for re-sentencing in accord with § 104.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion