Two ex-police constables attached to the Turkeyen Police Station who were found guilty of raping a woman on New Year’s Day 2018 at the said station, were today sentenced to 25 years each in prison.
Delon Chapman and Leon Ashby, who were on trial for the offence before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court, had initially denied the joint charge which alleged that, on January 1, 2018, in the county of Demerara, they engaged in sexual penetration of the woman without her consent.
Following deliberations, the jury on September 28 returned unanimous guilty verdicts in relation to both men.
Chapman and Ashby were represented by Attorney-at-law Ravindra Mohabir, while State Counsel Nafeeza Baig presented the case for the prosecution.
The jury was told that on January 1, 2018, at about 01:13h, the victim left her Sophia, Greater Georgetown home and went to the Police station to make a report against a man who had thrown a squib at her son’s face.
After lodging the report, the woman requested to use the washroom, and was guided to the upper flat of the building.
Chapman, the jury heard, took the woman upstairs and pointed her to a hallway, where she did not see a toilet, but instead two bathrooms that were under construction. After the woman had used the bathroom, Chapman followed her up the stairs and grabbed her by the neck. The jury was told that he “viced” the woman from behind and told her, “You gotto get f***.”
The victim said Ashby, who was there, fetched her into a room and placed her on a mattress on a spring bed. She said she was placed to lie on her belly. She recounted that Ashby then pulled down her underwear and raped her. The ordeal lasted for about 20 minutes. According to the victim, Ashby then grabbed her neck, while Chapman mounted her and raped her for about 10 minutes.
Chapman and Ashby were charged with the crime after the Guyana Police Force’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had conducted an investigation into the matter. When they were brought before a Magistrate in February 2018, they were each placed on $80,000 bail.
After a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) had been done, the Magistrate ruled that a prima facie case was made out against them, and committed them to stand trial for the offence of rape at the Demerara Criminal Assizes.