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Colonial Cases

United States v. Arlington, 1888

[sexual assault of children]

United States v. Arlington

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
Kennedy, 29 June 1888
Source: North China Herald, 23 June 1888

Shanghai, 29th June,
Before General J. D. Kennedy, U.S. Consul-General, Acting Judicially.
  S. L. V. ARLINGTON, late engineer of the s.s. Peking, was charged with having committed a series of indecent assaults in the Public Gardens upon several little girls.
  Inspector Cameron watched the case for the Police,
  The evidence, which was mainly that of amahs, went to show that the prisoner, who had infested the gardens for some moths, was in the habit of enticing the children to lonely corners of the place, on the pretence of giving them sweets, and then committing the indecencies alleged.  In reply to his Honour, the prisoner said he had nothing to say, except that he was very sorry for what had occurred, and he hoped the prosecutors would not press the charge, but give him a chance to get away from Shanghai, where his "prospects were entirely ruined."  It transpired that there was a charge of a similar nature dating back as far as three months ago, but this case was compromised by the parents to avoid scandal.  The prisoner, however, repudiated this charge and alleged that it was an impudent attempt to extort money from him by the parents.
  He was committed for trial which will take place on Thursday, his Honour announcing that the case was one of such gravity that two assessors would have to be sworn.
21st June.
Before General J. D. Kennedy, U.S. Consul-General, Acting Judicially, and G. H. FERGUSON, A. C. HUNTER, Assessors.
  The prisoner S. L. V. Arlingotn, was arraigned this morning to answer the indictment, in which there were two separate counts, charging him with having in the Public Garden committed indecent assaults upon little girls, with intent to rape.
  The prisoner, who seemed to take his position very coolly, at once pleaded guilty, whereupon the court adjourned till the afternoon before passing sentence.
  The prisoner was put forward at 3 o'clock to receive sentence.
  The Court as in the morning was crowded.
  His Honour in passing sentence said - You have pleaded guilty to the indictments under which you stand charged, and thus have obviated a trial, the details of which would shock the sensibilities of every right minded person of this community.  Under the construction of the law, the court is restrained in the measure of the punishment to be inflicted, and cannot impose a sentence commensurate with the heinousness of the offences you have committed.  The sentence of the court is that you, Victor Arlington, be confined in the gaol of the U.S. Consulate-General for the term of four years with hard labour.
  The sentence was received with an outbreak of applause from the public in Court, which the bench, at once suppressed.
  The prisoner was then removed.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School