A panel of appellate judges this morning fully heard an appeal brought against the State by convicted child rapist, Andre Hetsberger, who was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment in 2016 for raping a 13-year-old girl.

Following the presentation of arguments, the panel announced that the court will make a ruling on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Hetsberger, 48, is alleged to have sexually molested the minor girl sometime during 2014. Hetsberger’s lawyer, Dexter Todd, is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside and/or reverse the sentence and conviction on the grounds that the verdict of the jury was unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence.

Further, Todd contended that the learned trial judge admitted evidence by the prosecution which was highly prejudicial to the case for the defence and refused to admit evidence which supported the case for the defence. He also contended that the learned trial judge failed to put the Appellant’s (Hetsberger) defence adequately or at all to the jury and the sentence was unduly severe.

On the other hand, State Prosecutor Natasha Backer is asking the court to affirm the sentence and conviction on the basis that the jury’s guilty verdict was duly served. Backer sought to dismiss Todd’s argument that the sentence was severe. The prosecutor pointed out that the sentence was fitting for the crime given that Hetsberger abused a position of trust.

Before his incarceration, Hetsberger was a cameraman attached to TVG Channel 28 Evening News. Hearing the appeal were Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud. This matter was heard at the Court of Appeal in Kingston, Georgetown.


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