St. Croix man charged in rape of 12-year-old girl


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ST. CROIX - A 21-year-old man remains jailed unable to post bail after he was charged with raping a 12-year-old girl.

Omari Horton, of D. Hamilton Jackson housing community was arrested at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and charged with first-degree aggravated rape and first-degree unlawful sexual contract.

He appeared Wednesday in V.I. Superior Court before Magistrate Miguel Camacho, who advised Horton that if he is tried and convicted on the charges against him that he would be exposed to spending 15-years to life in prison on the rape charge and up to an additional 15 years in prison on the sexual assault charge.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Detective Gregory Charlery, a woman called police to report that Horton had sexually assaulted her daughter.

The woman said she and her daughter were visiting with Horton's mother on Tuesday, and when it got late at night and their ride had not come to pick them up, she asked Horton whether they could lay on his bed while they waited.

She said shortly after that she got a phone call and left the room to talk on the phone, leaving Horton and the girl in the room.

According to the police report, when the woman returned to the room, she saw Horton quickly drawing his hands away from the girl and the girl was sitting at the edge of the bed and her jeans and underwear were partially off.

The woman told police she asked Horton and the girl what was going on, and the girl initially just looked at her with a terrified look.

The girl later said that once her mother had left the room, Horton proceeded to pull at her pants and got them down as she struggled with him, and then he digitally raped her.

Charlery said when Horton was detained for questioning Tuesday evening, he waived his right to remain silent and agreed to give police a statement. According to Charlery, Horton recounted all of the things that the girl and her mother had said, but he said once the woman left the room he stayed on the bed with the girl, and when the woman came back into the room, he opened his eyes he saw that the girl was partially exposed. He denied having any sexual contact with the girl.

Horton was arrested and bail was set at $35,000.

During the hearing Wednesday, Assistant Public Defender Leslie Davis asked the court to allow Horton to be released to the custody of his mother and post 10 percent of the bail.

Assistant Attorney General Esther Walters said because of the nature of the crime and the fact that Horton has two charges pending, she asked the court to reject his mother as a custodian, because she has served in that capacity in the last case. Walters also asked that Horton be placed on 24 hour house arrest.

Camacho increased Horton's bail to $75,000 and allowed for a 10 percent provision. He also ruled against allowing Horton's mother to be the third-party custodian again because Horton had violated conditions of his previous release by being charged in additional crimes.

"These are all serious crimes, and he obviously needs very strict conditions, because Mr. Horton does not understand the orders of the court and keeps on committing offenses," the judge said.

Horton remains in custody at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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