A man accused of raping a six-year-old boy he babysat as a teenager evaded prosecution for over 30 years until he was arrested following a domestic dispute with his wife — and thrown into a jail cell with his victim.
The Independent reports that Gary Mottershead was convicted of one count of rape and multiple accounts of sexual assault of a victim under age 13 — for crimes committed between the years 1981 and 1983, when Mottershead, then a young teenager, was hired to babysit a six-year-old boy.
According to the report, Mottershead walked free for over 30 years until he was arrested in 2015 on suspicion of assaulting his wife. When he was taken into custody, Mottershead was put in a jail cell with his victim, who cannot be identified due to the nature of the crimes.
The victim eventually recognize his jail cell mate as the same person who forced him into performing sex acts when he was a young child, plying him with alcohol first.
In court, a prosecutor reportedly described how the suspect kept his victim quiet:
“The defendant was acting as a babysitter and he would give the victim cider [an alcoholic beverage in the UK] before sexually assaulting him. This continued for a period of time and the defendant threatened the boy that if he told anyone he would sexually assault his sister.”
The assault victim, 43, was in custody on charges of burglary. When he eventually realized who his cell mate was, he told a prison guard, and the case was escalated to authorities.
The victim addressed Mottershead directly in a statement obtained by The Independent:
“I have lived with this all my life and kept it a secret. Prison was the last place I expected you to be and I felt I couldn’t get away from it.”
Mottershead was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. The sentencing judge, Judge Mort, reportedly gave a statement in court indicating that the victim’s later legal troubles stemmed, in part, from harboring the traumatic secret for so long.
“He was from a respectable family but from the age of 16 he began to go off the rails and I have no doubt that his inability to share what had happened must have played a part in putting him into the wrong group.”
The defense lawyers argued in court that their client, a father of four, was also a minor at the time and may not have been aware of the severity of his acts with the child. They also noted that he steered clear of legal troubles for decades after the sexual assaults.
But Judge Mort insisted that he be held accountable for the assault and the damage it did to his victim.
“You knew very well that what you did was wrong, in the way you threatened his sister. This was an abuse of trust situation. This pattern of abuse must have occurred at least 15 if not 20 times,” the sentencing judge reportedly said.
” You may have been immature at the time but you were not so immature that you didn’t know how to control your victim.”
[Feature image: Pixabay]