Sophia man absconds trial, found guilty of raping girl with disability

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A 36-year-old man who absconded his trial several days before the jury was set to deliberate was on Tuesday found unanimously guilty of raping a girl who has a disability.

Rondell Chappel, called ‘Devil’, a 36-year-old resident of Section “A” Sophia, Greater Georgetown, has been charged with the offence of engaging in sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16. He had been on trial for the offence at the Sexual Offences Court in Demerara before Justice Sandil Kissoon.

This publication understands that the man got away from his trial sometime last week, causing the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to issue a wanted bulletin for him.

Following deliberations on Tuesday, a mixed 12-member jury found Chappel unanimously guilty of the crime. He raped a 15-year-old girl between September 5 and 6, 2020.

Chappel was represented by Attorney-at-Law Ravindra Mohabir, while State Counsels Cecilia Corbin, Caressa Henry and Marisa Edwards prosecuted the matter.

According to the prosecution’s facts, the teen girl is a special needs child. Chappel broke into the girl’s home between the dates mentioned in the charge, while she was at home alone, held her at knifepoint, and then raped her. At the time of the incident, the girl’s mother was at work.

A sentencing hearing for the convicted child rapist has been set for December 16. Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Chappel is asked to contact the Police on telephone numbers: 225-6940, 225-8196, 225-2317, 226-7476, 227-1149, or at the nearest Police Station.