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No bail for man accused of raping 3 stepdaughters

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Gran Couva man charged with raping his three stepdaughters will spend Christmas and New Year’s Day in prison after being denied bail yesterday. The 30-year-old man appeared in the Couva Magistrates Court charged with three counts of rape. The man lived with his stepdaughters—ages 12, 14 and 18—and their 51-year-old mother. It is alleged he sexually assaulted the young girls in their home over a two-year period.



Last week, the 18-year-old went to the police station and reported the sex attacks against herself and her two sisters. The police subsequently interviewed two younger siblings and on Saturday arrested the stepfather at the house. He was charged by WPC Alicia Soodeen of the Gran Couva Police Station. Yesterday, he remained stony-faced when senior magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan read the three charges to him. 



The first charge alleged that between September 1, 2011 and February 17, 2012, he had sexual intercourse with a female, his stepdaughter, under the age of 14. The second charge alleged that between September 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, he had sexual intercourse with a female, his stepdaughter, under the age of 14. 


The third charge alleged that between July 18, 2011, and November 30, 2013, he had sexual intercourse with a female, his stepdaughter, above the age of 14, without consent. He was not called upon to plead to the charges because they were indictable. Court prosecutor Sgt Peter Francis objected to bail on three grounds. 



He said the police were unable to do a trace to ascertain if the stepfather had a criminal record because the computer fingerprint system was not working. Francis also cited the serious nature and prevalence of the offences. The magistrate said: “Certainly, I would want to get a tracing. My concern is if he is residing in the same house (with his stepdaughters).” Attorney Anisa Mohammed, who is representing the stepfather, said his sister lived in La Romaine and was willing to accommodate him.


The magistrate said she would deal with that issue at the next court hearing. She advised him of his right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail. Cardenas-Ragoonanan then remanded the accused into custody at Remand Yard, Golden Grove Prison, Arouca, and adjourned the matter to January 13.


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