The Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) has been forced to reverse its decision and fully reinstate the Corporal who reportedly fought against city officials accused of covering up the alleged sexual assault committed on a detained 15-year-old boy.
Town Clerk Royston King had taken an administrative decision last year to dismiss Corporal Quacy Baveghems and Clifton Pellew, the Lance Corporal currently awaiting trial in the High Court. King, under pressure from the Ministry of Communities in November last, reinstated both men. King then sent them on paid leave.
Baveghems wrote to the Local Government Commission seeking their intervention in the matter. According to Chief Constable Andrew Foo, Baveghems returned to service after being fully reinstated with effect from July 23.
City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green believes that King misled the Council when he took the administrative decision to dismiss both men.
The Mayor had claimed to have initially ordered a report on the incident which allegedly occurred on August 22, 2017 in the Enquiries Office of the City Constabulary, located at Regent Street. According to reports, the juvenile was arrested and taken into custody for loitering and placed on a bench to sit.
It was reported that Pellew woke the juvenile and told him to lie on his back, which he did.
Shortly after he returned and told him to stand by the washroom. It was reported that the Pellew returned and unbuttoned the juvenile’s pants, placed a condom on the juvenile’s private parts and let the teen have sex with him. Baveghems had claimed to have witnessed the ordeal and reported the matter.
City Hall officials were blasted for their delays in properly investigating the incident.
The Mayor had claimed to be astonished when three weeks after ordering a report into the incident, she read in the “Dem Boys She” Column of the Kaieteur News that the ‘Mayor and the Town Clerk took child abuse to a next level’.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan wrote to King, informing him that Baveghems must be given a full hearing. The Minister had pointed out that this should have been done before the decision was taken to dismiss him.
Surprisingly, while the Minister’s letter was mainly focused on the whistleblower, both men were initially reinstated. There was public pressure on the M&CC to reinstate the Corporal and the decision to fire him was seen undue punishment because he refused to cover-up the incident. There were protests against the decision.
Public opinions and articles in the Kaieteur News brought attention to the incident. Pellew was arrested and placed on bail pending an investigation by the Guyana Police Force.
He was charged with engaging in sexually activity with a child under the age of 16 and was committed by Senior Magistrate Leron Daly to stand trial in the High Court for rape following the conclusion of the Preliminary Inquiry.
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