Parents frustrated at police ‘foot-dragging’ in rape probe

Almost a month after a 14-year-old Sophia girl was brutally raped by a well-known mini-bus conductor police are yet to arrest the alleged perpetrator and her parents have become very frustrated and are accusing the police of foot dragging.

More than two weeks after the child and her mother visited this newspaper to complain about the manner in which she was initially treated by the police at the Turkeyen Police Station the child’s parents again came to this newspaper since according to the father “we frustrated and we don’t know where to turn.”

The parents visited the newspaper’s office about half an hour after they spotted the alleged perpetrator in a truck in Georgetown. The father explained that he did business with a well-known Sophia truck driver and he later learnt that his daughter’s alleged attacker worked with the man. He said he approached the truck driver and explained his daughter’s ordeal to him and asked him to turn the young man over to the police.

Instead, the truck driver visited his home with a relative of the man who was offering to settle the matter since the young man denied raping the child. The father said he refused and again asked that the young man turn himself over to the police. Later, his wife received a call from the young man himself and he professed his innocence saying that he would turn himself in to the police to clear his name. He never did and the truck driver claimed that he had fled to Berbice.

But persons continued to report that the young man was seen in the area and the father said he was in Georgetown yesterday morning when his daughter spotted the young man in a lumberyard; he then entered the said truck driver’s vehicle. The man said he quickly made contact with ranks at the Brickdam Police Station but by the time they got there the man was nowhere to be seen.

“I tell the police to arrest the truck driver because he know where the man deh but them police say they can’t do that,” the father said.

The man later visited the Turkyen Police Station where the investigating rank told him that the police have completed their investigation and sent the file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecu-tions (DPP) and are awaiting advice on the way forward.

“I ask he why he can’t arrest the truck driver, he right in Sophia and he harbouring this man but the police say dem waiting on advice. Now if I go and find this boy and do he something then the police guh come for me quick, quick,” the frustrated father told this newspaper.

The man said his daughter only recently returned to school since the ordeal but he has to accompany her every day because she is scared since her alleged perpetrator is still at large. He said this situation is affecting his work and as it is right now he has reached the end of the road.

The girl was in front of her home one evening when the man grabbed her and took her to an empty lot where he raped her. The man is known to her as he conducted a popular bus in the area.

After the ordeal she returned home bloodied and crying and told her parents of her ordeal and they immediately took her to the station but were told by the officers on duty that she should return the next day to be taken to the hospital for a medical. She returned with her mother but was made to wait 8 hours for a female officer to take them to the hospital. At the hospital the female officer left the victim and her mother alone and proceeded to chat with her colleague in the police outpost located in the

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The triage nurse upon hearing the child’s ordeal informed that they had to visit the out-patient department or the nearest health centre in their community and it was only after her father visited the hospital and protested loudly that the child was seen by a doctor and later counselled.

The parents yesterday said the system is not helping their child who continues to suffer while the young man is continuing life as normal.

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