Man Who Raped 11-Year-Old and Forced Her to Have Abortion Sent to Prison for 12 Years

International   |   Steven Ertelt, Sarah Zagorski   |   Feb 27, 2015   |   5:23PM   |   Nassau, Bahamas

A Bahamian man who was convicted of sexual intercourse with an 11-year-old girl and forcing her to have an abortion will be sent to prison for 12 years.

In June 2013, the victim told Dwight Bethel, 41, that she was carrying his child and he took her to an abortion facility four months later.

However, during the abortion the child’s mother called to inquire of her whereabouts and she left the facility before the abortion was complete. As a result, she had to deliver the dead unborn baby at home and was instructed by Bethel to wrap it in a plastic bag so he could come and collect it.

The girl’s mother reported the abuse to the police when she had to take her daughter to Princess Margaret Hospital the following day. At the hospital, the girl was diagnosed and treated for an incomplete septic abortion.

Bethel’s defense attorney, Stanley Rolle, requested for three years probation rather than prison time since it’s his client’s first sexual assault. Rolle also said that if the court saw probation as an unacceptable punishment, then imprisonment for no more than seven years would be sufficient.



However, the judge in the case, said probation was not appropriate given Bethel’s actions:

PROBATION is not an appropriate sentence for a man convicted of sexually assaulting a minor and aiding her into a forced abortion, a judge ruled yesterday.

Justice Vera Watkins told 41-year-old Dwight Bethel that he would serve 12 years imprisonment on two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and seven years for abetment to abortion concerning the crimes committed between 2008 and 2013.

The judge said she came to this decision having reviewed the evidence produced at trial, case and statute law on such crimes, the submissions by defence and Crown counsel and the probation report of the convict.

As police officers led Bethel away from the Ansbacher House courtroom to await transport to the Department of Corrections, his sisters and fiancée spoke to The Tribune to express their confidence that Bethel will be exonerated on appeal and their intent to file a civil suit afterwards.


“We intend to appeal the conviction, ok,” said Brenda Riley-Bain, “because in all honesty, my brother, who they convicted of this heinous crime, never in any way or any form, raped or tried to rape anyone.”

At trial, Bethel denied the accusations when interviewed in police custody and during his testimony. However, the jury believed the complainant’s testimony that Bethel began molesting her in 2008 when she was 11.

Now a teenager, she said she never told her mother what was happening because she was afraid. The teen said she told Bethel she was carrying his child in June 2013 and he took her to a clinic four months later to terminate the pregnancy.

The prosecutor in the case, Algernon Allen II, asked the court to consider the seriousness of the case and to remember that the offence would likely scar the victim for life. He also emphasized that Bethel was not only unanimously convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, but also of abetment to an abortion. Allen II has asked the court for imprisonment for no less than 14-years.

Attorney Lisa Fox said this case should highlight the “vexing issues that affect all, inclusive of men, women and children”. She told the Tribune the following about the case: “I believe that it is imperative that awareness on these issues be heightened, and it is time for a glaring light to be shown, therefore lending support for victims and survivors and bringing

She concluded, “I believe that this case is one which should incorporate a sentence term that considers the breach of the order as a matter of principle and to send a strong message to the community and more specifically to perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence. The fact that the breach of the order was not considered in the proceedings suggests that the issue of domestic violence is not being taken seriously enough, therefore putting victims and survivors of domestic violence at risk of reoffenders.”