Court of Appeal Dismisses Carnal Knowledge Conviction for Santiago Cholom
After nine months behind bars, forty-six-year-old Santiago Cholom is home free, following a decision by the Court of Appeal to have him released due to a number of errors during his trial. Cholom’s attorney, Oswald Twist, successfully argued on several grounds, despite the fact that Cholom was convicted of carnal knowledge of a thirteen-year-old minor in June, 2016. During the proceedings, crown counsels Sheneiza Smith and Javier Chan both conceded to errors that took place while Cholom was being tried in the Supreme Court. While the indictment noted a particular date on which the alleged incident occurred, during trial the victim was uncertain of the date. Of note is that a voir dire was held to determine the admissibility of a caution statement Cholom reportedly gave to police during which he admitted to police, orally and in writing, that he had intercourse with the minor. The judge, however, ruled it inadmissible when Cholom informed the court that he is Mayan and that the caution statement was written in English, which he doesn‘t understand.