NASSAU (THE BAHAMAS)
The Nassau Guardian [Nassau, The Bahamas]
July 8, 2022
By Artesia Davis
A jury on Thursday convicted youth pastor Colton Albury of sexually assaulting a girl whose parents welcomed him into their family at age 16.
Albury, a well-regarded pastor, bowed his head after the jury’s forewoman delivered the guilty verdicts.
His wife, Mariah, the mother of their two children, who sat through the entire trial, shook her head as he was led away in handcuffs.
Senior Justice Bernard Turner remanded the 33-year-old into custody until August 17 for the penalty phase of his trial.
Albury’s lawyer, Miranda Adderley, requested a probation report to assist the court with determining the appropriate sentence.
The majority of the jury accepted that Albury betrayed the family’s trust when he became an adult by indecently assaulting and sexually assaulting a girl, who was just a toddler when he moved into their home.
He was convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse by a count of 6-3 and two counts of indecent assault by a count of 7-2.
The victim was 12 when the incidents allegedly started in 2016, and the assaults allegedly continued up to the age of 13. The complainant is now 18.
According to the victim, Albury caressed her thighs and breasts during “tickling games”.
The assaults allegedly escalated to Albury penetrating the girl with his fingers. Sexual intercourse is legally defined as any degree of penetration of the vagina or any stimulation of the vulva.
Her mother testified that she observed changes in her daughter’s behavior. Her previously amicable relationship with Albury had soured.
Her daughter eventually revealed what had prompted her behavioral changes during a family trip to the United States in 2017.
When they returned to The Bahamas, the girl’s father downloaded and printed explicit WhatsApp conversations of Albury allegedly begging his daughter for sex. He took a printout of the raunchy conversations and his daughter’s phone to the police when they filed their complaint.
However, Adderley told jurors that they did not know if the messages were authentic.
She said you could save a number under any name in a phone’s directory.
However, the prosecutor, Erica Duncombe-Ingraham dismissed this as a distraction. She said the content of the messages demonstrated that Albury was messaging his “sister”.
In one of the messages, Albury allegedly tells the child, “Let me play with you until your eyes roll back.”