Dr Vishwamintra Persaud remanded on child sex charge
Dr. Vishwamintra Persaud was yesterday refused bail and remanded to jail until August 3, next, by magistrate Roby Benn when he appeared before him at the Blairmont Magistrate’s court to answer to the charge having penetrative sex with a 13-year-old girl. Dr Persaud, 41, now a business man of Lot 55 C Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, is accused of between February 1 and February 28, last, at Bush Lot Village West Coast Berbice, engaging in sexual penetration with a girl under the age of 16 years.
Defence attorney, Joel Persid-Edmond, asked that bail be granted for his client since he has a fixed place of abode, is a reputable businessman and has never been charged with any offence in Guyana.
He stated that his client is willing to lodge his passport and stay any distance away from the virtual complainant and observe any other condition as may be set by the court. But Prosecutor Inspector Grace Bristol objected to bail. She said that there is the likelihood that if bailed the accused will tamper with the witness.
There is every likelihood that he will commit the offence again, she said.
She also stated that he could be a flight risk and that a passport is not a requirement for someone to leave the country these days referring to the many illegal ports of entry and exit. She also cited the nature and gravity of the offence.
Attorney at Law Persid-Edmond rebutted that the prosecution’s reasons for objecting to bail is based purely on speculation. He said that from how the prosecution sounded every person charged in Guyana should be kept in prison.
He said that they should look at the use of a passport and no other means of departing the country. Nature and gravity is a new watchword for the prosecution.
The child, he said, is in protective custody. He also noted that his client’s constitutional rights were breached. He was arrested since Wednesday afternoon and was only taken to court on Monday, long after the required 72 hours period.
Dr. Persaud was barred from practising in Guyana last year by the Guyana Medical Council after he was employed by the same council and was working at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
This was after information came to light that he was barred from working in New York for committing an offence not too dissimilar from the charge he is now facing.
The girl is said to be a close relative of the doctor. She is said to be traumatized. It was this trauma that caused the child to tell someone of the incident.
This information reached the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) which then informed the police who effected the arrest.
The girl has been in the care of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) of the Ministry of Human Services since the alleged incident came to light.
Yesterday, attorney Edmonds told the media of vendetta against his client by persons involved and that the entire story was a concoction to get revenge on his client.
The victim’s father is Dr Vishwamintra Persaud’s first cousin