2021 | Courts

Child sexual abuse conviction upheld for Silver Spring man

He was not deprived of fair trial, appeals court rules

share this

A Maryland appeals court this week upheld a Silver Spring man’s child sexual abuse conviction, determining he was not denied access to a fair trial in 2016.

In his appeal, Kester Gabriel Cuthbert argued that his attorney did not provide adequate representation at trial by not objecting to prosecution statements during closing arguments that he said were prejudicial and “impermissibly vouched for the victim’s testimony.”

In the closing argument, the prosecution pointed out that Cuthbert’s attorney did not object to the child’s testimony during trial because “there were no inconsistencies,” according to court documents.

“And that she told [her godmother] and the police and Dr. Shukat and the social workers and me the same story over and over and over. And he didn’t want to point that out,” the prosecution said, according to a transcript included in the appeal.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled, however, that “any presumptive error on the trial court’s part was not so extraordinary or fundamental that it deprived appellant of his right to a fair trial.” Cuthbert’s conviction and sentence was upheld.

According to court records, Cuthbert sexually assaulted a preteen girl on multiple occasions spanning about three years. The girl reported the assaults to her mother and police in 2015.

Cuthbert was convicted of multiple counts and sentenced to serve a total of 20 years in prison.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com