…after accusing religious figure of “inappropriate touching of hands”
The body of a 13-year-old female was found hanging from a rope inside her bedroom by her father in their Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) home early Saturday morning.
Reports are that the now distraught father went in search of his teenage daughter after she failed to answer repeated calls from family members. Upon entering the girl’s bedroom, he noticed her hanging and rushed to cut the rope.
He immediately raised an alarm. The motionless teenager was rushed to the nearest health facility, but it was too late.
Based on reports received, five days prior to the teen’s unfortunate demise, on February 17, her father lodged a complaint against a religious leader who “inappropriately touched” her hands.
The alleged sexual assault(s) took place between October 2019 and February 2020.
Police Commander of Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Assistant Police Commissioner Simon McBean when contacted by Guyana Times on Sunday stated that the now deceased and her father made a report about the matter on Monday last (February 17).
The suspect was asked to report to the Leonora Police Station three days later where he was informed of the allegations which he denied, and was placed on $150,000 station bail and released.
The Social Protection Ministry’s Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) was notified of the allegation and commenced its investigations.
“We did take a statement from her, and we were also told that the suspect would visit the home frequently, even going there when her father is not around. This was on February 17, when the investigation began. However, now, investigations are ongoing into her death also, but we don’t believe at this time that the two matters are correlated,” Assistant Commissioner Mc Bean stated.
Inews was informed that immediately after the allegations against the religious leader, who is also a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate, was made on February 17, the local A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) representative Suraj Singh visited the child’s home, along with APNU/AFC Regional Rep Ganesh Mahipal, Amna Ally, and other officials.
The allegations were posted on Mahipal’s Facebook account and that of APNU activist and Ministry of the Presidency employee Malcolm Harripaul.
In the latter instance, a picture of the accused individual was included even though this would likely circumstantially reveal the identity of the alleged victim, who was a minor and which, therefore, violated the proscriptions of the Sexual Offences Act.
The child took her life after these visits and publicity.