No decision yet on charging city constabulary rank accused of raping minor

Five months after a member of the City Constabu-lary allegedly raped a juvenile who was in his custody, a charge is yet to be filed in the matter.

According to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the case file is “still here being looked at.”

The file had previously been returned to the Guyana Police Force for further investigation in December but has since been once again referred to the DPP.

In the interim, both the Lance Corporal who is alleged to have committed the crime and the witness who reported it remain on administrative leave until the matter is either resolved by the court or addressed by the Local Government Commission (LGC).

According to Town Clerk Royston King, he has, in line with legal advice received, referred the report from Legal Affairs and Security Committee to the LGC for action.

The report was forwarded on December 5th and on December 11th, 2017, the LGC chairman Mortimer Mingo responded, noting that the commission is currently establishing its secretariat and will address the matter “soonest.”

According to Section 118 of the Municipal and District Councils Act, the power to appoint or discipline officers of the council who are paid more than $18,000 annually rests with the LGC, which may delegate same to the council.

The committee’s report had made note of this provision and also recommended that this section of the Act be amended so that some workers are dealt with by the Commission and others at the level of the council.

The report, which was presented to the council in November, recommended suspension for the Chief Constable and the lead investigator in the probe of the alleged rape.

It was recommended that Chief Constable Andrew Foo and Assistant Superintendent Virjanand Gafur, who were responsible for investigating the matter, be suspended for fourteen days.

The grounds for Foo’s suspension was reportedly because of “several alarming shortcomings,” which included not reporting the matter to the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Childcare and Protection Agency and the Ministry of Social Protection; failing to maintain the protective custody of the victim, whom he knew to be a juvenile, when he sent him to the Town Clerk’s office; and failing to take immediate and decisive action in accordance with the standard operating procedures.

Gafur, who was the senior officer responsible for the investigation, failed to provide proper supervision and, as a result, six statements were omitted from persons who were on duty during the time the alleged sexual assault took place.

Also playing a hand in the investigations was Officer Eusi Dover, who it was recommended receive training in the field, as there were “huge gaps” in the information that was presented to the committee. It was recommended that this training also be provided to other officers where needed.

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