By: Anne Geggis
A young teenager told a therapist about sexual abuse that began seven years ago when she was eight years old, resulting in the arrest of a Coral Springs man on capital sexual battery.
The girl told her therapist that the man, who was acquainted with her family, had touched her genitals with his mouth and hands four times in his home. It happened several times before she was 12, according to a Coral Springs Police report.
Hayden Sterling Suban, who will be turning 67 on Tuesday, was charged with four counts of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 on May 13. Despite the charges that could carry life imprisonment, the COVID-19 crisis has him under house arrest with ankle monitoring. He had to give up his passport, court papers show.
The story of the girl’s abuse came out in April, two weeks after she started seeing a therapist, who advised her to tell her parents and police.
“[The victim] recalled sleeping on the couch at Suban’s residence … woke up to Hayden pulling her pants down,” the police report reads. “[The victim] stated she attempted to pull them [up], but Hayden overpowered her and pulled them off.”
“[The victim] stated that all four encounters were exactly the same,” the police report says.
Court papers charged him with four separate counts of capital sexual battery — one from June 2013, two from August 2014 and another in September 2015
He was initially held without bail, as he could face life imprisonment for these charges. A few weeks after his arrest, on June 9, however, a circuit court judge agreed on with the defense attorney’s motion that Suban could be released on a $100,000 bond.
Paula McMahon, spokeswoman for the office of the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, said that inmates’ release is on a case-by-case basis, and her office had recommended Suban remain jailed. But that was overruled by the judge in the case, Circuit Court Judge Michael Usan.
Suban’s attorney asked that he be released because of the presumption of innocence, the national COVID-19 emergency, and the suspect’s health status.
Suban is at high risk for getting the potentially deadly disease because he’s older than 65. He’s also been diagnosed with prostate cancer, has high blood pressure and poor coronary health that has required stents, court papers say.
Jails around the country have become COVID-19 “hotspots” because of the difficulty in keeping six feet apart, as the Centers for Disease Control recommend for controlling the spread of the disease. The Sun-Sentinel reported in April that Broward Jail’s inmate population has sunk to its lowest level in decades.
In addition to his medical issues, Suban’s attorney argued that defendants are entitled to be released on bail “unless proof is evident and the presumption of guilt is great,” the motion for the bond to be set says.
The police report says that the victim’s parents confronted Suban after they heard about the abuse.
“Hayden did not admit to, but did apologize and kept saying sorry,” the report says.
The family cut off contact with the man after that confrontation, police said.
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- Anne Geggis has been a newspaper reporter for 30 years, most recently at the Sun Sentinel. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., with a double major in journalism and sociology.
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