Eric Benjamin sentenced for two counts of sexual assault, one of indecent assault and one of attempted rape
The sentence of six years in custody passed by the St Helena Supreme Court yesterday, Tuesday 19 February 2019, on Eric Benjamin reflects the seriousness of his crime and the detrimental effect he had on three women's lives.
Detective Sergeant David Honan said:
I wish to pay tribute to the courage of the women that addressed the Court and told their accounts; this is an incredibly difficult thing to do in any society but a task made all the more arduous in a small close knit community such as our own.
Eric Benjamin offended against a child and two women who had turned to him for assistance, he abused his position and he abused their trust.
The St Helena Police Directorate stand ready to hear from any person who has suffered sexual abuse or is living with such abuse. In collaboration with partners in the Attorney General's Chambers, St Helena Police will investigate and where there is evidence, seek to prosecute perpetrators of such abuse.
Detective Sergeant Honan added:
I would also urge the community to be vigilant, to challenge, to support one another by speaking up when wrong doing is encountered.
Arthur Cyril Graham sentenced for the indecent assault of a child
The conviction of Arthur Cyril Graham for a crime on Ascension that occurred almost 50 years ago demonstrates the willingness of the Prosecuting Authorities on St Helena to investigate and bring prosecutions for historic offences.
Detective Sergeant Honan said:
The passage of time does not shield perpetrators from prosecution and nor should it prevent individuals who have been wronged coming forward and speaking out.
If you have been offended against in the past then I would urge you to come forward, we will support you, we will listen to you and if there is sufficient evidence in partnership with our colleagues in the Attorney General's Chambers we will seek to prosecute the individual responsible.
In recent years the capacity of the Police Service and the expertise within the Prosecution Authority have both grown ensuring individuals can access the justice that they deserve.
Colleagues in Health can now offer specialist off-Island support and counselling to ensure victims are aided to cope with their experience.
The cases of Benjamin and Graham demonstrate the importance for the survivors of abuse to have their voices heard, to be vindicated and to have closure. I trust that the four women involved will be able to do that.
Source: St Helena Government