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Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne surprised the prosecution yesterday when he pleaded guilty to three offences stemming from a televised video in 2011 depicting the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. However, the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), which airs Alleyne's nightly programme, maintains its not guilty plea to nine charges.
Alleyne first appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar on April 14, 2012. He is charged with three offences under Section 32 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to reveal the identity of a rape victim during a broadcast. The charges stemmed from a video aired on three consecutive days on CCN TV6 from October 24 to 26, 2011.
Alleyne also faces an additional charge of resisting arresting officer ASP Ajith Persad in the execution of his duties. CCN faces three similar charges as well as six charges under the Telecommunications Act for alleged breaches of its licence and concession which were issued by the Telecommunications Authority (TATT).
Attorneys representing CCN included Sophia Chote, SC, Michelle Solomon-Baksh and Trevor Clarke. George Busby and Simonne Jaggernauth appeared for the prosecution. Alleyne and his legal team, led by Om Lalla, walked into the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court around 10.30 am. Alleyne entered the prisoner’s dock and Lalla informed the magistrate that his client wished to adopt a certain course of action.
Ayers-Caesar then reread the charges to Alleyne, “that on October 24, 2011, at Express House, Independence Square, South, Port-of-Spain, he did broadcast certain video content on national television, namely CCN TV6, which led the female to be identified by the public.” He pleaded guilty.
Busby requested a short adjournment as he had been taken by surprise by Alleyne’s decision to plead guilty. Busby said he had only been notified of Alleyne’s intention to plead guilty yesterday morning. The matter was adjourned to Monday for facts, tracing and sentencing.