Businessman Ernal Richards freed of sexual assault charges
Sixty-six-year-old businessman Ernal Richards has been freed in the Home Circuit of two counts of sexual assault in relation to a 15-year-old relative.
It was alleged that the offence was committed between May and October 2015.
When the trial began yesterday, the complainant admitted in court that she lied and that Richards never sexually assaulted her.
The Crown offered no further evidence in the case and Acting Supreme Court Judge Yvonne Brown directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, who represented Richards, says the businessman plans to take legal action against the State for the long delay in having his case disposed of and also for time spent in custody.
Wildman disclosed that after the complainant gave the first statement to the police she gave four additional statements outlining why she lied.
He said based on the complainant's statements of retraction, the prosecution should have thrown out the case and should not have dragged out the case in court.
According to Wildman, the case has severely affected Richards' business and his health.