Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Sexual Assault of Girl, 9

A St. Croix man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in 2019 as she waited for her grandfather outside a store in Christiansted.

Kenson Barley, 47, was sentenced Wednesday in V.I. Superior Court for unlawful sexual contact in the first degree stemming from the assault on the girl, V.I. Attorney General Denis George announced Friday.

The girl was waiting for her grandfather in his car outside a store in Christiansted on Feb. 16, 2019, when Barley, a family acquaintance, approached with a dog, V.I. Justice Department prosecutors, Deputy Attorney General Eric Chancellor and Assistant Attorney General MacKeish Taylor, told the jury at Barley’s trial in January 2020.

The girl testified that Barley offered to let her pet his dog, which he retrieved from his vehicle. While she petted the dog, Barley reached into the vehicle, groped her vagina, and propositioned her for sex, according to evidence presented in court. The girl did not immediately tell anyone what happened, but later that evening, she told her mother, who then reported the sexual assault to the police, George said.

A St. Croix Superior Court jury found Barley guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the first degree in January 2020.

Barley is required under V.I. law to register as a sex offender.