Zane DeSilva, the transport minister, condemned the crimes of David Minors, the former road safety officer, who was jailed for five years for sex offences against an underage child.
Minors was imprisoned for sex offences committed last year against a 14-year-old boy whom he coached in the arts.
Mr DeSilva noted Minors had no longer worked for the Transport Control Department at the time of the offences.
He called it “disturbing to know he worked in a position of trust with our children”.
Mr DeSilva offered his “deepest sympathies to the victim and his family”.
Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford of the Bermuda Police Service hailed the sentencing as a “win for victims of sexual assault everywhere”.
He called the impact of such actions on the vulnerable “callous and reprehensible”.
“People who abuse their position of trust to prey on vulnerable members of our society should take note that the police and criminal justice system are here to help, and we will work to obtain justice, as has been done in this case.”
He acknowledged that some victims might struggle to report a sexual assault in a small community, but that police had shown they could get justice.
Although Mr Glasford declined to comment on specifics, he noted that the case involved a person in “a position of significant trust”.
The sentence “reflects how dimly these actions are viewed”, he added.
“We hope that this will spur other persons who may have fallen prey to similar conduct to come forward and speak up against their abusers.
“We are here and the Bermuda Police Service is ready to listen.”
Kelly Hunt, the executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said that aggravating factors such as holding a position of trust, as well as planning and grooming behaviour, should be considered by the court as “serious crimes against children”.
She said: “Offences of this nature are not only harmful but have a lifelong impact.
“We implore Parliament to consider the legislative framework and sentencing guidelines outlined in the UK, which more readily impose the maximum penalties for those who sexually exploit our youth.
“Once again, we ask that the three-pronged approach to sex offenders be adopted with treatment, ongoing supervision on release, and indefinite restrictions surrounding access to children.”
Ms Hunt added: “As it stands, paedophiles can commit multiple offences, serve time running concurrently as opposed to consecutively, leave after two-thirds of a minimal sentence, and then go back to positions of trust.
“This is simply unacceptable and we must demand better for the protection of our children.”
Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, said: “Our hope is that the child victim receives the psychological healing he deserves, the child’s family receive support and healing, and Mr Minors’s family receive counselling and support.
“We also hope that Mr Minors will receive the most up-to-date sex offender treatment while he is at Westgate. He will be properly assessed regarding risk upon his release to determine whether or not his sexual thoughts have changed and whether or not he will be considered a safe adult around children.”
By Jonathan Bell The Royal Gazette