Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida high school student, accused of rape will not be going back to Monarch High School after prosecutors filed four additional counts of sexual battery in court Tuesday.
The judge then revoked bond and 19-year-old Gibson Sylvain was taken into custody.
His family, who did not speak to the media, left the courtroom in tears.
Sylvain is accused of raping a homeless woman at a bus stop at State Road 7 and Hillsboro Blvd in 2016. He was arrested in August after a DNA match linked him to the crime. Now, he is charged with five counts of sexual battery instead of one – all stemming from the same incident.
“The defendant poses a threat of harm to the community. His crime, what he is charged with, 5 counts to be exact,” said prosecutor Alixandra Buckalew.
In court Tuesday, we heard Sylvain’s side of the story for the first time. His defense attorney said there was sex, but no rape.
“It’s a theft of services if anything. We’re saying that, we’re saying that it was consensual, she solicited him,” explained defense attorney Sean Coccia.
The judge replied, “I haven’t had any testimony at all. That it was consensual.”
Coccia answered, “She’s not here, your honor, where is the victim?”
Sylvain’s attorney argued that even though the teen is facing more charges, he should still be allowed to remain under house arrest instead of thrown back into jail.
“He’s been an exemplary pretrial release person, he’s been compliment with every term and condition and again he will refrain from going to Monarch and take online classes,” said Coccia.
Prosecutor Buckalew opposed that argument.
“Your honor, I’m afraid, based on the fact that he is facing now 4 more counts and 75 years in prison that he will cut that ankle monitor off and flee or hurt someone else,” stated the prosecutor.
The fact that Sylvain was allowed to attend class at Monarch High while standing accused of rape charges had many parents angry. They are relieved that he is not coming back.
“I think that’s great,” said one parent. “It was a scary thing.”
“I’m glad. I’m glad,” said Jason Picciolo. “It puts ease on all of our minds as parents.”
Students are divided.
“There’s a lot of girls who are actually really scared. I’ve heard there are some girls who don’t want to come to school,” said student Jessica Martinuzzi.
Another student, Sasha Cestero disagreed.
“I know he’s a really nice person and stuff like that. It didn’t make me uncomfortable at all.”
Sylvain is now being held in the Broward county jail with no bond. His attorney will not say whether or not he’s going to go back to ask a judge to revisit the whole bond issue.