|NOT THE FIRST TIME |
By Nalinee Seelal Thursday, May 19 2016
THROUGH tears of shame, two sisters aged nine and 14, yesterday told police that when they were rescued on Tuesday by police, as a man was sexually assaulting inside his heavily tinted van, this was not the first time he had sexually abused them. The shocking admission came as officials of the Police Cyber Crime Unit found nude photos of the nine-year-old in the 39-year-old suspect’s cellular phone.
The sisters spent several hours in the company of Child Protection Unit (CPU) officers PC Alcala and WPC Quashie at the Oropouche Police Station, relating through sobs and sometimes hesitatingly - through shame - what that man had been doing to them. The man, who remains in police custody, is a friend of the girls’ father.
The children spent Tuesday night at home and yesterday were taken to the Oropouche Police Station by Ag Sgt Ramlogan, the officer who rescued them on Tuesday.
Ag Sgt Ramlogan along with PCs Lee Lum, Ramkissoon and Ali were highly commended by Head of Southern Division Snr Supt Irwin Hackshaw for rescuing the children and arresting the perpetrator.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT While the interviews were taking place, the girls’ father and two aunts sat nearby listening, wiping tears from their eyes. The girls, CPU sources told Newsday, thanked police for rescuing them from the predator saying deep shame had kept them silent to the abuse.
The children were comforted by the officers and reassured that what had happened, was is no way their fault.
A female relative who police believe may have aided the suspect in his attacks, is expected to be questioned soon. Police sources told Newsday that based in interviews done with the sisters, the attack on Tuesday was not the first and the man was in the habit of taking them to the same lonely area at an abandoned Caroni 1975 Ltd canefield near Cedar Hill Estate in Barrackpore.
Sources added that nude photo images saved in the man’s cellular phone corroborated by date stamp, that the attack on Tuesday was not the first on the sisters.
The suspect recently returned from Colombia where he worked as a technician for an international fast food chain.
Checks also revealed he was a habitual viewer of child pornography.
The man is married and lives in Princes Town.
He remains in custody at a cell in the Barrackpore Police Station.
Images of him, handcuffed were yesterday posted on Facebook.
His driver’s permit was also posted online.
On Tuesday at about 10.50 am officers led by Ag Sgt Ramlogan were on an exercise when they came upon the a heavily tinted Nissan Navara parked in the abandoned canefield.
On seeing the officers, the suspect drove off at high speed but the police were able to intercept him with their patrol car a short distance away.
Inside the van, the driver sat clad in a boxer shorts and jersey.
Lying down naked on the reclined front seat was the nineyear- old.
In the back seat, also naked, was the older sister. Both were disoriented having been made to drink alcohol.
The nine-year-old, upon a subsequent medical examination was found to have been raped.
The teen was not raped but faced other forms of grievous sexual assault.
BEASTS IN HUMAN FORM Yesterday, the Children’s Authority issued a press release stating its Emergency Response Team visited the victims’ family on Tuesday evening and provided support to both the sisters and their mother.
The Authority’s Director Sharifa Ali-Abdullah stated in the release, “as we commemorate our anniversary today our hearts remain heavy and burdened with the number of horrific cases we deal with, but this is really the best opportunity children have ever had in this country, to be protected”.
She noted that recently the Authority released its Sexual Abuse Report which indicated that one in five reports received by the Authority was categorised as sexual abuse.
Additionally she noted that child protection is everyone’s business and reports of abuse should be made to 996 or 800- 2014.
CPU Head Margaret Sampson- Brown told Newsday she was left “very distressed” on learning of the assault on the sisters. “I am so fed up of children who have to defend themselves from these beasts in human form. They are maniacs and vigilance is critical,” she said.
“I want to commend police officers for their vigilance and I also want to make a statement to the parents of those two girls...I don’t care what trust issue they are talking about, but you must know who you are sending your children with, how are you parenting your child? When children are abused by a particular person, they will say things and as a parent you will be aware, so if the parent don’t protect them who will? The Child Protection Unit and the Children’s Authority will be taking an interest in this matter and we are standing by to work with the fami