NOC complainants to give statements to police

The four teenagers, who have alleged being sexually abused at the New Opportunity Corp (NOC) were expected to give official statements to the police yesterday detailing the allegations.

On Monday, Crime Chief Leslie James had told Stabroek News that the virtual complaints in the case had not made an official report to the police and pointed out that it was the media they reported to before the police.

However, Director of the Child Care & Protection Agency (CC&PA) Ann Greene yesterday told Stabroek News that the girls were being interviewed by the police and that the investigation is moving apace. The agency launched an investigation following an official report by the girl’s parents and subsequently obtained a court order from the High Court to remove the girls from the NOC.

The girls are now in the protective custody of the CC&PA and according to Greene they are doing quite well. The agency was in the process of completing a report on the girls which is expected to chart a way forward for them and this is expected to be presented to the court today as was also ordered.

“They are doing quite well, we are working with them,” Greene said yesterday when contacted.

Following the removal of the girls, officers from the agency had gone into NOC and commenced the investigation.

The four girls have alleged sexual and physical abuse at the institution. The girls also told their parents of being placed in what the NOC officials have now said is a “quiet room” but which the children said was the “detention room” where they were made to stay in various forms of undress for long periods. They alleged too that they were denied food while in the room and were given a bucket instead of being allowed access to toilets.

Youth Minister Frank Anthony, who said no report of abuse was made to his ministry, has welcomed the investigation, saying neither the ministry nor the NOC has anything to hide.

He has since ordered that the staff members cooperate fully with the investigators.

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