Haitian community activist's life sentence for raping daughters upheld

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Frantz Kebreau's convictions on charges he raped and assaulted his daughters repeatedly over several years.

Kebreau, a Lynn resident, was arrested in 2002 and found guilty in 2005 on two counts of rape of a child, four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen, one count each of assault and battery and one count of threatening to commit a crime. Prosecutors successfully argued that he began raping one daughter when she began sixth grade and the other when she entered third grade. When the older daughter returned from college for Thanksgiving and she refused to submit to her father, he pulled out a handgun and threatened to kill her if she ever told anybody.

Kebreau appealed, arguing the prosecution was improperly allowed to call too many witnesses and that testimony regarding a family intervention at the Haitian Baptist Church violated pastor/parishoner privacy because the minister was present at the session.

However, the Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest, ruled that allowing more than one witness to testify that one of the daughters told them she had been attacked did not violated a "one first complaint" rule in rape cases because they were testifying about different incidents.

And the court ruled that pastor/parishoner privacy only applies when the congregant is seeking "spiritual advice and comfort," which meant it does not appy in this case because Kebreau was not himself a member of the church, rarely went and went in this instance only at his wife's insistance to discuss a "family issue," not a religious one.

Read the entire decision.