“Thank you almighty God.”
Those were the words uttered by 45-year-old Springs, St. George resident, Cassius Batson, last week
Thursday, after a nine member jury declared him not guilty of four counts of rape charges brought against him by his former lover.
In an interview with reporters after the verdict was handed down at the No. 5 High Court on The Carenage, St. George’s, Batson, who has spent a period of two years and seven months on remand at the Richmond Hill Prisons because of the allegations, said he “just want to go to church and give God the praise for what he has done” for him.
The jury panel had failed to return a unanimous verdict at the end of the 3-week trial after deliberating on the evidence in the case, for well over three hours.
High Court Judge, Justice Shiraz Aziz, who presided over the trial, gave the jury additional time to return a verdict.
Batson, who has a number of previous rape convictions, was accused of raping his ex-lover, Jamel Alexander, whom he shared intimacy with for a period of 6 months.
The incidents allegedly occurred in April 2014 at their home, which they rented together at Springs in St. George.
The father of three had maintained his innocence throughout the duration of the trial.
He expressed strong belief that the charges brought against him were based on his past convictions.
However, he said the time spent on remand was used to do a lot of reflecting and that he is ready to make some serious changes in his life, for the better.
Batson placed on record heartfelt thanks to his defense attorney, George Prime, who stood by his side throughout the trial.
Speaking to reporters after the verdict was delivered; Attorney Prime described the matter as a brief period of romance that went sour, due to the involvement of another man, believed to be Alexander’s ex-lover.
He said the jury’s findings makes it clear that the incidents were cases of consented sex, noting that the jury was obviously not convinced by the evidence brought forward against his client, as they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on their first attempt.