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Relatives of Crystal St Omer ‘taken aback’ with Court Sentence


Ten years after the brutal slaying of a young woman – the families and relatives of Crystal St Omer are not too pleased with the verdict handed down by the High Court.

On December 9 Mario Perez-Charles was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison for the murder of Crystal St Omer.

Charles in 2012 was charged for causing the death of Crystal St. Omer. It was reported that Crysal, 17 years –old at the time, left her home at Riviere Mitand, qtr. of Monchy,   on August 22, 2012 to collect her CXC results at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School.  However, she never returned home.

Charles was 19 at the time of the offense.

Unfortunately, her partially decomposed body was discovered days later in a remote area in Cap Estate. Reports state that on this fateful Saturday morning, Crystal’s body had been dumped in a rubbish dump at Cap Estate.

Upon discovery of the body by sanitation workers in the area, the fateful news spread like ‘wild fire’ in the neighborhood, on social media and among friends and acquaintances of the young student.  A post-mortem examination later revealed that the teenager was strangled to death.

Crysal was regarded as a ‘model student’ and a leading scholar who gained top grades in her subject passes, with a bright future ahead.

Fast forward to this year, and having spent the past ten years on remand, last Friday, the court sentenced Charles to 18 years in jail.

Airing her grievances and complaining about the leniency of the sentence handed down, Virnet St Omer, a relative of the deceased told Loop News, “This is very sad because I don’t think we got the justice that we deserve.”

Added St Omer , “I understand the young man already spent ten years of his life in prison, but there should be a minimum sentence of at least 35 years; based on the sentencing requirements, one would expect him to serve at least 20 years for the murder.”

Notably, the Sentencing Guidelines dictates that Charles got time off his sentence for good behaviour, while pleading guilty to the crime and time served.

In his statement to the Court, Charles listed myriad reasons for his behaviour, including coming from a ‘broken home’.

Taking umbrage with the justice system , St Omer argued that, “They allowed the case to languish in the system for ten years, they have gotten their promotions, and the DPP continues to get paid, yet they are being lenient on him for having spent ten years on remand. What about our rights as the victims?”

According to court reports, the eight-year sentence will run concurrently, which means Charles will be released after four years and he may serve three years for good behaviour.

Meanwhile, Human rights Advocate Felicia Dujon reacting to the latest judgment, declared that the state has once again failed the victim.

Dujon expressed her concerns and strongly feels that prolonged pre-trial detentions have continued to plague the judicial process.

According to her, this has led to the violation of human rights of the detainees and the prolonged suffering of family members of victims seeking justice for their loved ones.

“The matter relating to Crystal St Omer is another example of how the judicial process can fail the very process of the law.”

Dujon adds, “Clearly, the DDP is not concerned about providing effective representation to the victims’ families. How can you have someone who has confessed to the matter being kept in remand for only ten years to have him sentenced to 18 years, then be released in less than five years when convicted? This is the type of inefficiency which continues to plague our society. Then we wonder why citizens have no faith in our judiciary.”


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