Man rapes girl, 7
By JANELLE DE SOUZA Tuesday, March 12 2013
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ANTI-VIOLENCE TALKS: From left, Grenada physiotherapist and child protection specialist Hazel De Breo, chairman of the Coalition Against Domestic Viol...
A PAEDOPHILE has escaped prosecution for the past three years after the mother of a seven- year-old child, whom he is alleged to have sexually assaulted, took the child and left without a trace.
Despite a mountain of evidence including numerous videotapes showing the man having sexual intercourse with the seven-year-old, the man — who was the boyfriend of the child’s mother at the time — walked free because no one came forward (neither the child nor her mother) to make an official report.
Yesterday, at a Violence Against Children conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain, retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Margaret Sampson-Browne, who is now the manager of the Police Service’s Victims and Witness Support Unit (VWSU), showed an edited video clip of the man video-taping himself having sex with the seven-year-old girl.
Sampson-Browne said when police held the man three years ago, they found stacks of videos showing him having sexual intercourse with the child. Sampson-Browne said the child’s mother seemed to be aware of his actions as she was seen in one of the videos. The police were unable to lay any criminal charge since the woman moved away with the child and police do not know at present, the whereabouts of the woman and her daughter, now ten. Sampson-Browne said she aired the video in order to demonstrate how difficult it is to prosecute such criminals, as well as to show that sexual abuse against children is more than just inappropriate touching and in reality, includes actual sexual intercourse.
Revealing the Police’s statistics for rape, incest and sexual offences, Sampson-Browne noted there were 30 such cases reported this January alone and 512 cases in total for 2011. She did not provide data for 2012, but noted that from January to July of that year, there were 86 sexual offence cases and 75 cases of domestic violence and child abuse.
Sampson-Browne encouraged persons, even if they did not want to report a crime, to do so because the real statistics would help the Commissioner of Police implement effective policies.
She also promised that the Unit would provide support once a report is made. “There are people who are affected by crime and don’t want to go to the Police. We are saying, come to us,” said Sampson-Browne. “We are bridging the gap between the police and the community.”
The Unit, she said, is proposing a Child Abuse Task Force and intends to have a Barber Training Programme, as well as a One-day Conference focused on Men in the Community.