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FT Lauderdale (CBSMiami) – A Monarch High School senior accused of raping a homeless woman at his Coconut Creek bus stop in 2016 will be now be allowed to bond out of jail
Gibson Sylvain’s face lit up with a smile when the judge made the ruling.
Sylvain, 19, was arrested last year November and charged with one count of sexual battery. He bonded out of jail and returned to school. When parents of students at Monarch High found out, they were furious that they had not been told.
Shortly after, prosecutors added an additional four charges of sexual battery and Judge William Haury ordered that he be held without bond.
Sylvain has spent the last five months in jail.
Friday morning, Judge Haury reversed his November ruling.
“I will reinstate the release conditions from the first appearance,” he told the court.
Sylvain’s attorney Sean Coccia told the judge months ago the sex was consensual. Friday he tried to convince the judge that the state had a weak case against the high school senior.
“Instead of yelling for help, the victim could not identify the defendant at all, just a black male, that’s it, she’s not giving any vivid description. She didn’t yell for help or anything,” Coccia told the judge.
“To say that a victim didn’t yell so she’s not a victim is ridiculous. Victims react differently to each situation,” countered Assistant State Attorney Alix Buckalew.
Buckalew pointed out that DNA linked Sylvain to the case. The defense went on to argue more about the alleged victim’s reaction.
“She’s right across from a Walmart that’s very busy, open 24/7, and there’s Bru’s room right down the street. She said he did not threaten me or use a deadly weapon or anything, your honor,” said Coccia.
“The testimony came out last time that she was afraid. Although he didn’t say ‘I’m going to kill you’, he said ‘I don’t want to hurt you’. He used violence with his body, his hands, his actions,” Buckelew told the judge.
In the end, Judge Huary sided with the defense and said Sylvain should be allowed out of jail as he awaits trials, but not be allowed to return to school.