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Driver guilty of sex charges against girl
A Point Fortin truck driver was remanded into custody on Thursday after a jury found him guilty on ten charges of raping a schoolgirl.
The sex assaults which lasted for a year began when the girl, a United States citizen, was 13 years old.
Her mother sent her to Trinidad in January 2006 to stay at the Point Fortin home of her (mother) first cousin. At the time the cousin was in a common-law relationship with the accused.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the matter began on July 9 before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas in the San Fernando First Assizes.
However, on Thursday, a nine-member jury found him guilty on all the charges after deliberating for an hour-and-a-half.
The girl, who was among seven prosecution witnesses who testified, is living and attending a college in the United States.
The State’s case, led by state attorney Angelica Teelucksingh, was that the attacks took place between June 2006 and April 2007 at various locations, including different bedrooms in the house, in the bathroom and in a shed at an isolated area in Point Fortin.
The first three rapes took place when she was 13 years old and the others happened when she was 14.
The girl testified that she was threatened by the accused that if she said anything he would put her out of the house. The accused gave her money which she used to buy school supplies and food.
The first attack took place around June 1, 2006 while she was asleep on a bed she was sharing with her two young male cousins.
The girl also testified that when her mother’s cousin went to the hospital to have a baby in February 2007, he had sex with her on three consecutive days in the accused’s bedroom.
After the last rape in April 21, 2007, she said she was sent to live with another relative in Port-of-Spain.
When her grandmother came on vacation from the United States in July 2007 she found out what had happened and got the United States Embassy involved.
The embassy appointed one of its lawyers to represent the girl and the lawyer accompanied her to the Point Fortin Police Station to report the assaults.
When PC Christopher Garraway, of the Point Fortin Police Station, confronted the accused about the allegations he denied them. In August 2007 the accused was arrested and charged.
The accused, in his evidence, denied having sex with the girl. He called his stepdaughter as his witness.
His attorney Everard Davidson asked for a probation officer’s report which was ordered by the judge.
The accused, who had been on bail during the trial, was remanded into custody pending sentencing. The matter was adjourned to September 25.