It took a jury four hours to convict Khemwhatie Bedessie of raping a 4-year-old child under her care at a Queens day care center in 2006. Bedessie's lawyer Stephen Turano had argued she had been coerced into falsely confessing, after a detective said she would released if she confessed. On Monday, Bedessie testified, "I tell [the detective], yes, I will do anything he want so he will send me home. He promised that I'm going to go home and see my mommy and her never let me go."
But the assistant DA Dianna Megias called Bedessie's testimony an "Academy Award" performance and played the video again, urging jurors, "Look at the mannerisms and gestures in this video," and asking them to see if it looked like the detectives were coaching her: "The details, the emotions, the mannerisms were the defendant's and only the defendant's. Don't let her blame her perverse and despicable acts on a 4-year-old boy."
Bedessie, a Guyanese immigrant who the News says has a fifth grade education, now faces 25 years in prison; Turano says they will appeal the conviction. Last year, when the charges were brought against Bedessie after medical experts questioned the boy, Queens DA Richard Brown said, "The slightest penetration constitutes rape, and when you have a child under the age of 11, there is no question of the child giving consent."