A 60-year-old whose sexual assault on a teenager left her considering self-harm and suicide has been jailed for two years and is facing deportation at the end of his sentence.
Carlos Nunes Alves was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register in the Royal Court yesterday after pleading guilty two offences of sexual touching which took place less than half an hour apart.
Police praised the young teenager for the "great deal of courage and bravery" she had shown following the sentencing.
Laying out the facts of the case, Crown Advocate Sam Brown explained that the victim was a teenage girl known to Alves, who he had "formed an interest in" during the months leading up to the offences. When they had initially met, he had asked her age and was therefore aware that she was under 16.
Prior to the sexual assault, Alves would often get close to the girl and had previously kissed her on the neck despite her attempts to move away.
Pictured: Alves was sentenced in the Royal Court yesterday.
Advocate Brown explained that the victim and Alves were left alone together one morning. As she bent down, he grabbed her from behind, touching her breast and "breathing heavily in her ear". While aroused, he pressed himself against her.
The teenage girl elbowed Alves, causing him to let go, and she left the room. Approximately 20 minutes later, she had to re-enter the room where Alves was, and he "rushed over" to her and once again "grabbed her from behind". He invited the teenager to come to his bedroom.
The young girl described his grip as "really tight" and said she "felt like she couldn't leave".
Two days later, Alves apologised and said what he had done was a "mistake". He begged her not to take the matter any further due to his family.
However, she had already reported the atter to the Police.
When Alves was interviewed by Police, he claimed he had "accidentally" brushed his hand over the her breast, and said on the second occasion that he had touched her breast but "didn't know why".
He admitted inviting the girl to his bedroom but again said he "didn't know why". He did, however, agree that if someone had said that to a young girl then he would assume they wanted to have sex with them.
Alves denied knowing the girl's age, despite her having told him it previously, and claimed to think she was 17 or 18. However, by his own admission, he did not think she looked like an adult.
He did agree that he had kissed her neck in the past, but claimed that this was "as friends". However, he admitted that he did not interact with any of his other friends in this way.
Pictured: Alves claimed one of the touches was accidental when he was interviewed by police.
Moving for a sentence of two years imprisonment, Advocate Brown described this as a "serious" case of sexual touching without consent, "against a background of sexual misconduct", during which Alves "specifically targeted the victim when they were alone".
He also suggested that Alves' offences were made worse by the fact that he later took steps to prevent the girl from reporting the assaults to the police.
Lieutenant Bailiff Anthony Olsen said a statement from the victim outlining the impact of the incident on her "makes for difficult reading".
"I don't feel like my old self," she said. The teenager said she had also expressed thoughts of self-harm and suicide. In addition, she was having trouble sleeping, felt nervous around men and now had a limited social life as she was scared to leave the house.
While the Crown Advocate argued that Alves' "inappropriate" behaviour was not "random or isolated", his defence lawyer, Advocate Sarah Dale, said the assaults were not deliberate but "opportunistic".
She explained that Alves – assessed to be at "low risk of reoffending" – had no previous convictions.
Advocate Dale described him as a "man of good character", who was "deeply remorseful for his actions" and "distraught" when speaking about the assault.
She said he "simply cannot explain his actions on that day" and felt "deeply saddened and sorry at how he has left his victim feeling".
Calling for a sentence of 18 months' imprisonment, Advocate Dale said that her client deserved credit for entering a guilty plea at the first opportunity despite there not being a lot of evidence against him.
She did not object to Alves' deportation, explaining that her client hopes that his deportation will provide a "small comfort" to his victim as she will not have to worry about bumping into him.
Delivering the sentence, Lieutenant Bailiff Anthony Olsen described Alves as "old enough to be [the victim's] grandfather".
The Lieutenant Bailiff, who was sitting with Jurats Christenson and Dulake, said he was glad Alves had pleaded guilty, as the victim was "spared the ordeal of giving evidence at trial".
He added that the Court hoped that Alves was "now genuinely feeling guilt" and was "wholly sorry".
Pictured: Alves is due to be deported at the end of his sentence.
As well as the prison sentence of two years, Alves was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for eight years. He is prohibited from having any contact with the victim, and cannot be alone with or live in a household with anyone under the age of 16.
The Lieutenant Bailiff agreed that Alves' "continued presence would undoubtably be detrimental to this island" and recommended his deportation at the conclusion of his prison sentence.
Following the sentencing, Investigating Officer Police Constable Claudia Mendez said: "This must have been a frightening experience for the victim and she has shown a great deal of courage and bravery throughout the whole process.
"We will investigate all sexual offences reported to us and will put offenders before the courts. We can assure victims that there are a number of agencies in a position to offer support and guidance, through all stages of the criminal justice process."
SARC at Dewberry House provides expert independent and confidential support to victims of sexual abuse. Tel: 01534 888222.
Jersey Action Against Rape (JAAR) provide and maintain a supporting framework for survivors and their families. Tel: 01534 482801.
Jersey Women’s Refuge offer help and support for victims of domestic abuse. Tel: 0800 7356836.
Victim Support offer free and confidential advice to victims of crime. Tel: 01534 440496.
Victims First Jersey is a free and independent service offering confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime. Call 0800 7351612.
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