A 26-year-old man who was told that he “destroyed” the lives of his victim and her family, was jailed today for 16 years for the sexual exploitation of a child, while in a position of trust.

Maleke Martin was sentenced to 13½ years imprisonment on one charge and 16 years on another charge or sexual exploitation while in a position of trust.

He was further sentenced to six years for showing offensive material to a child.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Martin was also told that he must serve at least eight years of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.

He will also be placed on Bermuda’s Sex Offenders Register upon his release, with orders to complete a 15-year supervision order.

Photo Courtesy Of TNN

Responding to the sentence meted out today (April 11) the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) noted that the incidents “occurred two years ago”, in March 2021, when the police investigation was launched.

It was also noted that the defendant was found guilty in December 2022, following a Supreme Court trial, on two counts of child sexual exploitation and one count of showing offensive material to a child.

At trial, a spokesman said: “The Special Measures for Child Witnesses in Criminal Cases legislation was utilised for the first time locally, a key provision of the Child Safeguarding (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2019, as outlined by Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs & Constitutional Reform, the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons, JP, MP, in her Ministerial Statement Monday, 27th February 2023

“This new legislation allowed for pre-recorded evidence from the child to be used during trial, instead of the child giving evidence in front of the defendant and a jury.”

During his sentencing, Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams told Martin that he “broke the heart of a mother”, and “single-handedly” used his posiiton “to exploit a child and ruin her life”.

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she never thought “in a million years” that “someone so close” to her and her daughter would “betray” them “in such a horrible way”.

The police spokesman concluded: “The BPS take our role in child safeguarding seriously, which involves ongoing partnerships with the Government, the judiciary and relevant community organisations to help protect young, vulnerable people.”