TT$500,000 bail for pundit on sexual assault charge

(Trinidad Express) SIPARIA Magistrate Armina Deonarinesingh yesterday expressed concern over the frequent sexual offences allegedly being committed in the area.

Deonarinesingh made the comment as she dealt with the cases involving a pundit charged with sex crimes against a teenager, and an 18-year-old who allegedly sexually assaulted the same female in a classroom. They were charged separately.

When Pundit Baldath Seegobin appeared before Deonarinesingh, she noted the appearance of the 18-year-old earlier.

“Now I have an allegation of the same type of offence against the same victim…I am very concerned about the prevalence of this type of offence in this area and other jurisdictions throughout the country.”

Seegobin, 64, was charged with raping the girl, committing an act of grievous sexual assault against her, and indecently assaulting her on August 27, 2014 at Harris Village, South Oropouche. He was not called upon to enter a plea to the indictable charges.

The 18-year-old, a secondary school pupil, was charged with kidnapping, indecently assaulting and committing an act of serious indecency against the 17-year-old girl at school.

Charges were laid by constables Avelon Monsegue and Lisa Augustine.

Defence attorney Roopnarine Rambachan said Seegobin had been a pundit for “30 to 40 years” and operated from the home he shared with his sister and in an area where other relatives lived. He said his client had no previous matters before the court.

Police prosecutor Sgt Sheldon Ablacksingh objected to bail as he said that as a pundit, Seegobin was a person in a position of trust. He also spoke of the prevalence of such allegations against pastors and pundits.

Seegobin was placed on $500,000 bail. He was ordered to return to court on February 23.

The 18-year-old will reappear next Monday.

Pundit Baldath Seegobin
Pundit Baldath Seegobin

 

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