…says in relation to City Constabulary officer accused of rape
By Ramona Luthi
Two protesters on Thursday stood in front of City Hall holding placards and calling on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to have the Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green and Town Clerk, Royston King arrested “as accessories to a crime” with regards to the delayed action in the matter involving a juvenile being allegedly “raped” by a City Constabulary Officer in August of this year.
“I am protesting here today because for two months, the Mayor and the Town Clerk sat on a report of an [alleged] child rapist and did nothing. No report to the Child Protection Agency, no report to the police, no report to the DPP, until it was raised on social media- then something happened…Why are they protecting [alleged] rapists?…We are asking that they [Mayor and Town Clerk] be arrested as accessories to a crime because it is the duty of every single citizen to report a crime,” one of the protesters, Don Singh told media operatives earlier today.
Singh further lambasted King’s description of the issue as “a gross misconduct” since according to him, the matter was nothing short of “rape.”
“In the dismissal letter, I don’t know if you’ve seen it by Royston King, he’s called it gross misconduct and a sex act with a juvenile. What is a sex act with a juvenile? Its Rape! Why we not calling it rape? It’s real name is rape and we should call it rape and we’re asking that an entire investigation be done into City Hall because this is gross misconduct of the people’s interests!”
Additionally, another protester, Jonathan Yearwood questioned King’s decision to fire the City Constabulary officer who reported the “rape” to his superior.
“He fired the guy that did make a report…The only mistake he didn’t make was not writing it in the station diary. Okay, suspend him for that. You’re gonna dismiss him? What message are you sending to whistle blowers? What message are the whistle blowers hearing here? If you talk, you’re gonna get dismissed from your job,” he said.
He maintained that the course of action taken against the City Officer, Quacy Baveghems for verbally reporting the matter but failing to maintain a written record was uncalled for.
“That is wrong! That is absolutely wrong! The person who should be dismissed here should be the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk should be fired,” he asserted.
When contacted for a comment, the Mayor of Georgetown refrained from doing so while nothing that “the Council will make a broad statement soon.”
INews had reported that between August 22 and August 23 a 15-year-old boy was taken into custody on August 17 and placed before the court on a charge of wandering.
At some point during his detention for reasons unknown, the minor was transferred to the Regent Street Outpost where an alleged sexual act was carried out involving the child and the accused, Lance Corporal Clifton Pellew.
Officer Quacy Baveghems had reportedly informed his superior of the act, claiming that he had witnessed it. However, as an investigation began into the matter, it was discovered that Baveghems did not make a written entry of the incident in the station diary.
Pellew and Baveghems were sent packing on Tuesday last after receiving a letter signed by the Town Clerk.
Pellew, the alleged perpetrator was dismissed for “gross misconduct of carrying out a sexual act on a juvenile” while his colleague was sacked for dereliction of duty in failing to intervene or make an entry of the incident in the station diary.
The issue was brought to light after former Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan took to social media to question whether the Town Clerk should be disciplined as well, since according to Duncan, King had interviewed the alleged victim and failed to submit a report to the Legal Affairs and Security Committee.
Duncan is the head of that committee and would have complained, on several occasions, about the failure of some officers to produce their statements in relation to that matter.
“I am blindsided, utterly surprised, shocked and disgusted as a Councillor and Chairman of the Legal Affairs and Security Committee that a matter which was submitted to the Committee, and which the Committee is still sensed of is being dealt with now unilaterally. Why now? The Town Clerk interviewed the alleged victim in his office and submitted no report to the Committee on what transpired should he be sent home as well? ‘Justice is fallen the streets and truth can cannot enter,” Duncan wrote on his Facebook page.
In an invited comment, Chase-Green had told this publication that the decision to dismiss the officers came following the discovery of new evidence.
“There were some additional information that was brought to the council’s attention and some video tapings. Based on those video tapes, and even though it was still an alleged allegation, in the best interest of the Constabulary and the Organization the Town Clerk as administrator of the city of Georgetown would have dismissed them both,” Chase-Green added.
She had noted that following the dismissal of the Officers, the Police were called in and the matter is now in their hands.
The Mayor also asserted that the matter is still under investigation by the Legal Affairs and Security Committee and added that there would have been several calls for King to be disciplined for the role he played in the investigation and his failure to produce a written report.
However, she explained that the work of the committee is still incomplete and as such, no action can be taken yet.
“So the Police is presently doing their investigation and the matter is out of the hand of the Mayor and City Council. There are a lot of loopholes that caused this to reach where it is and not only those two ranks should be disciplined but there are other ranks along the way and with the completion of the investigation by the Legal Affairs Committee then the recommendations would be taken into consideration,” she said.
Police Commander, Marlon Chapman, confirmed that his division is heading the investigation after they received a call from the Office of the Town Clerk on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in 2016, it was reported that the accused was involved in a matter of similar nature. However, nothing came out of the issue as the juvenile then, did not pursue it.