|| ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Jurors empaneled to hear the rape trial of Lloyd Wilkinson convicted him of first-degree rape and related charges in connection with a Feb. 11, 2015 incident.
Following two days of testimony and after several hours of deliberation that stretched over two days, the 12 men and women returned a unanimous verdict, finding Wilkinson, 54, of no fixed address, guilty of first-degree rape, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful sexual contact. This was his second trial on the charges; his first trial, which lasted Feb. 8-9, ended in a hung jury.
In commenting on the outcome of the case, Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said, “DOJ will continue to pour tremendous resources into the prosecution of these sexual assault and rape cases and I have implemented a new sentencing policy whereby the prosecution will recommend the statutory maximum for any person convicted of rape. So in this case, the defendant is exposed to a total of 60 years’ imprisonment, which is essentially the rest of his natural life and that is what we will seek at the sentencing hearing because for such a small community, we simply have too many instances of sexual assault and the community is fed up of these sexual predators who are causing so many to live in fear.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, the victim was walking in the Frenchtown area when Wilkinson approached her and asked her for a lighter, which she handed to him. When Wilkinson was returning the lighter, he grabbed the victim from behind around the neck in a chokehold, dragged her into the bushes behind a truck, pushed her down to the ground and raped her. After the assault, the victim went to Schneider hospital to report the incident. During her interview with police, she was able to identify her attacker.
V.I. Superior Court Kathleen Mackay, who presided over the trial, has set Dec. 16 as the date for Wilkinson’s sentencing.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Nadja Harrigan and Quincy McRae.