ANTIGUA: No bail for policeman in rape

(Antigua Observer) – Bail was denied yesterday when a Corporal of Police appeared in the All Saints Magistrate’s Court charged with rape of a female teenager and serious indecency.

July 4 was set for his committal hearing by Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel.

While the police prosecution had no objection to bail and his lawyer, Leon Chaku Symister requested it, the magistrate denied bail given the seriousness of the allegations and the fact that the accused is a police officer.

The 48-year-old accused who has since been suspended, still has the option of seeking bail from a High Court judge.

The Corporal of Police, who has over a decade of service on the force, was not required to entire a plea to any of the allegations.

While the initial record of the charges showed that he was accused of “unlawful sexual intercourse” of a girl under 16, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, yesterday when he was taken to court, the file indicated that the charge is now rape, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The second charge for serious indecency carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

The Sexual Offences Act defines serious indecency as “an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

It is alleged that the officer, who cannot be named, according to the same Act, took advantage of the teen at Coolidge between March 1 and 31 this year. The girl is said to be pregnant and the matter was reported a week ago. The junior ranking officer was picked up last Wednesday and detained at Police Headquarters.

He was confined to barracks, a term meaning he could not leave the station, but would not be placed in a cell or handcuffs.

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