Accused ‘fake’ police station rape denied bail

Virgil Pompey, front and Matthew John.

(Trinidad Guardian) Three men ac­cused of hold­ing four Venezue­lan women cap­tive and sex­u­al­ly as­sault­ing two of them have been de­nied bail af­ter ap­pear­ing in court.

Vir­gil Pom­pey, of Wil­son Road, Diego Mar­tin, Matthew John, a car wash at­ten­dant from Up­per Bournes Road, St James and Yohan Norgiff, of Union Road, Diego Mar­tin, were re­mand­ed in­to cus­tody af­ter ap­pear­ing be­fore Mag­is­trate Re­han­na Ho­sein in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The trio was charged with false­ly im­pris­on­ing the four women and with rap­ing two of them be­tween last Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor In­sp Cal­lis­ter Charles asked Ho­sein to de­ny the men bail and ad­journ the case as in­ves­ti­ga­tors were still in the process of ob­tain­ing their crim­i­nal record trac­ing. Charles said it was im­prac­ti­cal for po­lice of­fi­cers to ob­tain the trac­ing ear­li­er, as the re­quests were on­ly sub­mit­ted af­ter they were charged late Wednes­day evening.

At­tor­ney Kei­th Scot­land, who is rep­re­sent­ing Pom­pey and Norgiff, ques­tioned the de­lay by po­lice.

“It is not im­por­tant to them be­cause they are not the ones who are in­car­cer­at­ed,” Scot­land said, as he de­scribed the de­lay as a “gross dere­lic­tion of du­ty.”

Scot­land al­so took is­sue with the me­dia re­ports over his clients’ ar­rests. He claimed that while re­ports claimed that they im­per­son­at­ed po­lice of­fi­cers to abduct the women, they were nev­er charged with such.

He al­so ques­tioned claims that the house at Union Road in Diego Mar­tin, where Pom­pey and John were held and the women were res­cued, was paint­ed to re­sem­ble a po­lice sta­tion. Norgiff sur­ren­dered to po­lice a day af­ter the raid on his home.

Scot­land claimed that the prop­er­ty’s blue and white mo­tif and nu­mer­ous Stars of David, syn­ony­mous with the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS), were cho­sen by Norgiff’s de­ceased grand­moth­er who owned the prop­er­ty.

Pre­sent­ing sub­mis­sions on be­half of John, his at­tor­ney Alex­ia Romero com­plained that her client was not in­ter­viewed by po­lice be­fore be­ing charged.

“My client at­tend­ed that house with those per­sons to as­sist in look­ing for some­where to rent,” Romero said.

Af­ter the lis­ten­ing to the sub­mis­sions, Ho­sein re­fused bail for the men and ad­journed their case to next Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, po­lice be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case af­ter the women’s friends re­port­ed them miss­ing when they failed to re­turn af­ter leav­ing to view apart­ments for rent in west Trinidad. The women have since been placed in pro­tec­tive cus­tody.

The trio is al­so be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Asha Watkins-Montserin, Adaphia Tran­coso and Dana-Marie Sali­na.

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