– fears case will be forgotten, but cops say charges likely soon
A teenager who claims that she was raped by her cousin some months ago is now threatening to kill herself as a result of her perception that justice is not being served.
The 15-year-old girl of Vergenoegen on the East Bank of Essequibo is said to be facing emotional distress after seven months have passed since one of her male cousins reportedly violated her at his sister’s home at Pomona Housing Scheme, located on the Essequibo Coast, and the perpetrator is yet to be charged.
The girl’s father visited Kaieteur News to express his dissatisfaction at the actions of law enforcement officials as it relates to his daughter’s case.
He stated that he and his wife (the child’s mother) were separated so he left Guyana to live and work in Venezuela sometime ago. He returned to Guyana in November, last, which was when he was made aware of his daughter’s situation.
The man told Kaieteur News that when he visited his daughter she did not look her usual self, her face was very thin and she appeared withdrawn. When asked if something was wrong, the teen after much deliberation confided in her father that her cousin (the son of her mother’s brother) had raped her, while she was in Essequibo on a church outing during September 2010.
She told her father that she was alone at the home of the boy’s sister when he visited the home claiming that he wanted to take her and his sister “for a walk”, but his sister had a prior engagement and left shortly after. The girl recounted that during the brief period that she was alone with her cousin he subsequently tugged her into a bedroom and forcibly had sex with her.
According to the girl’s father, when the boy’s sister returned home and was made privy to the information, she kept the girl at her home in Essequibo for two weeks before sending her back to her mother. The sister then explained to the mother what transpired.
Kaieteur News was told that the boy’s family has been constantly calling the mother, apologising and trying to pacify the girl by offering $100,000 “compensation” for what happened in an effort to prevent further action from being taken.
The distraught father explained to Kaieteur News that he would never accept any form of “bribery” as compensation for his daughter’s dignity and pride. He stated that the boy’s family is pleading with them (the girl and her mother) to “drop the case” because it would be “an embarrassment” and “destroy the family”.
The girl’s mother even told her daughter that if they took matters to the authority then the boy’s family, which includes his wife and children, would suffer and be left without money if he is charged and put away behind bars since he is their breadwinner.
The mother told Kaieteur News that the matter was reported to the Suddie Police Station in November 2010 upon the father’s return to Guyana when he became aware of his daughter’s situation but it was then transferred to the Parika Station then finally to Leonora.
This newspaper understands that the boy, who was said to be in his mid-twenties and resides in the Maria’s Lodge, was once a member of the Neighbour Policing Group and has an uncle who is a senior police officer.
The mother also stated that she has not heard about the progress of the situation from police ranks as she continuously tries to telephone the relevant officer(s) but attempts have proved futile.
The father stated that after “running back and forth” between police stations, he decided to visit the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to speak with Minister Priya Manickchand about the matter, after his daughter wrote him a letter stating that she wanted her cousin to pay for his crime.
With sheer frustration, the father claimed that a typist in front of the Minister’s office told him that “it isn’t necessary to see the Minister” and with that referred him elsewhere.
Kaieteur News read the letter, purportedly written by the teen, which was a plea for justice as the little girl asked her father to ensure that the cousin “goes to jail for what he did”. The letter went on to say that she does not wish to get married or doesn’t mind if the story is publicised.
She threatened to take her life if her father could not help her in attaining justice and peace since she “would be alright once he was in jail”.
After not being able to receive the required assistance from the person that the typist at the Ministry referred him to, the man said he then ventured to the Home Affairs Ministry to “have a word with Minister Rohee”.
The father was told that Minister Rohee usually “meets the public” on Fridays, however, the Friday that he went, the Minister was unavailable He said he was asked to write a letter explaining his predicament which he did, but claims that he is yet to receive a response, though a month has already passed.
According to the man, he also visited the Police Complaints Department at Eve Leary, Georgetown and the Office of the President, but his efforts for an intervention were to no avail.
When Kaieteur News contacted the Commander of “G” Division, Superintendent Brian Joseph, he explained that the file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office awhile ago and it was returned to the police for some more information and a thorough investigation to be conducted.
He said that this had already been accomplished and “the file is already back on its way to the DPP’s office”.
Supt. Joseph stated that a professional job was done by those involved in this matter and due to the new Sexual Offences Act 2010, there was more required to be presented in the file for presentation at the DPP’s office.
The Divisional Commander said that the force was aware that a relative of the accused was working at the Suddie Police Station which is why the matter was removed from that station to ensure that there was transparency in every aspect of the case.
He did disclose that the alleged incident occurred sometime in September 2010 but was officially reported in December, yet no family member of the girl contacted him concerning the progress of the matter.
In fact, Kaieteur News was told that the girl’s family took her to a Welfare Officer on the West Coast Demerara (WCD) who took her to have a medical examination conducted and then to the Leonora Police Station to file the report.
According to Superintendent Joseph, as soon as the file is released from the DPP’s office with advice, the police will then be able to take the necessary action.
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