IJM Guatemala Secures Conviction: "The Scales of Justice Were Tipped Towards the Truth"

The scales of justice tipped towards truth this week in a Guatemalan courtroom, when a man was convicted of continuous rape and sentenced to over ten years in prison for assaulting his 14-year-old stepsister.
The scales of justice tipped towards truth this week in a Guatemalan courtroom, when a man was convicted of continuous rape and sentenced to over ten years in prison for assaulting his 14-year-old stepsister.

GUATEMALA CITY – This week in a Guatemalan courtroom, "the scales of justice were tipped towards the truth," says IJM lawyer, Mabel Gutiérrez. Justice was secured for 14-year-old Kassia* when her stepbrother was convicted of continuous rape and sentenced to over ten years in prison.

IJM helped police locate the 34-year-old man and ensure his arrest last June. IJM lawyers helped develop a strong case, documenting the medical evidence and helping Kassia get ready to share the truth in the trial.

The calm, even-tempered girl bravely chose to testify against the man who had robbed her of so much. An IJM social worker was with her at the court. Kassia gave her emotional testimony in the Gessell Chamber, a special room where children can testify in a space that is more familiar and comfortable than an intimidating courtroom where the suspect may be present.

Kassia lives with her mother and siblings, and she enjoys studying and taking typewriting classes. She continues to heal from the continuous sexual assault as IJM social workers provide counseling and trauma-focused therapy.