July 13, 2003
One man convicted of sexually assaulting teen girl
The Brampton Guardian
A jury has convicted a Brampton man of sexually assaulting a 14- year- old girl in a basement apartment in May 2000.
Two other accused men were acquitted.
The jury deliberated for almost three days, returning Sunday morning with a guilty verdict for Roopnarine Pittiman, 24, of Brampton. Madame Justice Silja Seppi will sentence him October 9.
However, the jury acquitted Ryan Pittiman, 27, of Brampton and Beswick Goffe, 25, of Mississauga, who were also facing a charge of sexual assault.
The verdicts came after a trial that lasted close to a month.
The girl, now 17, told police she was visiting her aunt in Brampton. She took a walk to a convenience store and on her way met four men.
She went with them to the backyard of a Winterfold Drive home where they consumed alcohol, according to testimony during the trial. They moved inside to a rented basement apartment in the house and continued to drink.
At the time, investigators said the girl reported sitting on a couch in the basement when the four started touching her sexually. She told police she was lifted up by two of the men and taken into a bedroom where she was raped by three of them.
Approximately three hours later she returned to her aunt’s home and reported being sexually assaulted.
A sexual assault charge against Maheshwar Inderjeet, 22, of Brampton, was dropped before trial. He testified for the Crown during the trial, which started June 9 in Brampton‚ Superior Court of Justice.
The defence argued the girl had given her consent and according to testimony during the trial, the men believed she was eighteen.
“My client’s position from the outset was that he had done nothing without the full consent of the complainant and the jury’s verdict vindicated him,” said defence lawyer Gary Batasar who represented Ryan Pittiman.
Batasar said he believes the jury decided sexual touching did happen on the couch, but the jurors had doubts that sex had taken place in the bedroom. He said the verdict shows the jury believed the girl was not raped.
Roopnarine Pittiman’s defence lawyer said he doesn’t believe his client’s conviction was for raping the girl.
“The jury rejected the fact that she has been raped multiple times in the bedroom because they acquitted the other people involved,” Leo Adler said. “But they found my client guilty of inappropriate touching in the living room. The whole incident was a very unfortunate one for everybody involved‚ for her and for the young men. Hopefully, everyone can move on with their lives.
ONE GUILTY OF ASSAULT; MAN ACQUITTED OF GANG RAPE
After spending the entire weekend deliberating, a superior court jury had found a Malton man and his friend not guilty of gang raping a Mississauga girl 3 years ago when she was 14.
Beswick Goffe, 27 of Mississauga, and Ryan Pittiman, 24 of Brampton left court free men Sunday after the 12 jurors return their verdict in the late morning to Madam Justice Silja Seppi, acquitting both men on sexual assault charges.
“I am just so relived that this is all over,” Goffe said in the interview with the news yesterday. “Having this sort of thing hang over your head for three years is very detrimental. It was an unfair accusation.”
But the jury found the third man accused in the may of 2000 incident, a 25-year-old Mississauga resident Roopnarine Pittiman- Guilty of sexual assault.
The jury heard testimony in the three-week trial detailing how the girl was approached by the men as she walked to the convince store on Winterfold drive in Brampton around 7:30 pm on may 27.
The jury was told the men invited the girl to Ryan Pittiman‚’s home on the street, where they began consuming alcohol.
The girl told the court that she was touched in a sexual manner while she was on the couch. Then she testified that she was taken to the bedroom where she was rapped by the men.
The girl and her aunt contacted police later that night.
But a key crown witness who was present during the incident, Manheshwar Inderjeet, 22, testified that the girl told the men she was 18.
Hid testimony also revealed the alleged victim told the men she engaged in group sex before.
“Our position was anything that happened was consensual‚,” said defence lawyer Gary Batasar who was representing Ryan Pittiman
“We don‚’t like to believe that out children are capable of this kind of behaviour, but the fact is the false allegations have been made and I am glad justice has been served.’
Goffe said that the charged dealt a major blow to his academic career. He had just been accepted to Ryerson University for engineering when he was arrested more then 3 years ago.
“I had to put my whole life on hold including my education,” he said. “That was really frustrating but I am getting back on track with everything. I am hoping I can go to university in the fall.”
The defence lawyer for Roopnarine Pittiman doesn‚’t believe that his clients conviction was for rapping the girl.
“The jury rejected the fact that she had been rapped multiple times in the bedroom because they acquitted the other people involved,‚’Leo Adler said. “But they found my client guilty of inappropriate touching in the living room.”
“The whole incident was a very unfortunate one for everyone involved” for her and for the young men,‚” added Adler. “Hopefully everyone can move on with their lives.”
Pittiman will be sentenced October 9.