— but denies allegation, police force launches investigation
THE Guyana Police Force has launched an investigation into an alleged case of attempted rape of a minor by an Opposition Member of Parliament. The accused has since denied the allegation levelled against him.
It is alleged that People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Alister Charlie, on Wednesday, attempted to rape a 16-year-old boy in Lethem, Region Nine. The incident came to the fore through a Facebook post made by the mother of the boy. “I’m disturbed by the video that I saw this morning of my son being taken advantage,” the distraught mother wrote on her social media page on Thursday, and proceeded to name the accused. The incident reportedly occurred in Lethem.
According to reports, the teenager, after attending a children’s party at Charlie’s residence on Wednesday, was lured to a nearby bar and was given alcohol laced with ecstasy.
He was reportedly videoed with his pants and underwear down and genitals exposed. The accused reportedly had his genitals out at the time, not only in the presence of the minor, but other persons, who were seen laughing. A man, known the family of the minor, was passing the bar at the time, and reportedly intervened, and started recording the incident, after he was shun by those present. The victim was subsequently taken to his grandmother’s residence.
The Guyana Chronicle spoke to the mother of the victim but to safeguard the victim’s identity her name would not be disclosed. The woman, who resides in Georgetown, said she learnt of the incident on Thursday morning, when she received a phone call from her mother, who lives in Lethem with her son. Her mother, the victim’s grandmother, was shown the video by the man who intervened when the incident was unfolding. That video was reportedly sent to the mother of the victim.
The woman said from all indications, her son was unwell when he returned home on Wednesday night. He vomited several times and opted to sleep in a hammock. On Thursday when he and his grandmother were confronted with the video, the victim said after drinking from a cup given to him by the opposition MP, he blanked out, and has no recollection of what transpired thereafter.
The matter was reported to the Lethem Police Station, and the school’s welfare officer was called in, in addition to the accused. The minor was also asked to give a statement. In the statement given to the police, the victim reportedly said that while at the party, the PPP/C MP made sexual offers to him. It is alleged that at the party, the MP was sexually grooming the minor, and offered him oral sex, among other things.
ALLEGATIONS NOT TRUE MP Charlie pleaded his innocence on Thursday. Even as he sat in police custody to give his statement, the opposition MP told the Guyana Chronicle that the allegation has no merit, and there is no evidence to show that he made sexual advancements towards the minor. He also denied giving the minor alcohol to consume.
“It is a blatant lie,” Charlie told this newspaper. However, Charlie admitted that he was at the bar after the party but said he did not come into contact with the victim. “I am giving my statement here (at the police station) but it was nothing of the sort. It was nothing of the sort, and I will have to take legal action against them because this is not true,” he told this newspaper.
Stating that he is from a Christian background, the opposition MP said he would never encourage a minor to consume alcohol. “I didn’t give that child alcohol, and I would never indulge in giving a minor alcohol to drink, no,” Charlie maintained.
According to Charlie, the victim’s mother is pursuing the matter because of a “joke” told to the family about what happened the night of the party. The Guyana Chronicle understands that after showing the minor’s relatives the video, the man that intervened deleted the video, and later told the police that it was a “joke”. He too was required to give a statement.
This reported incident comes approximately four months after the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) launched an investigation into an alleged case of rape of a 22-year-old young man by a high-ranking regional official from Region One (Barima-Waini), who is aligned with the PPP/C. In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, a 22-year-old man, despite his speech impediment, detailed how he was allegedly taken to Georgetown from Mabaruma and lured to a hotel, bullied into sex and left stranded, allegedly by the Region One Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley.
These reported incidents are being made at a time when the Childcare and Protection Agency continues to express grave concern about the number of sexual abuse cases involving minors. Already for this year (January-May 2019), there are 105 reported cases of sexual abuse against boys while 387 cases of sexual abuse involving girls have been registered, the Childcare and Protection Agency has disclosed.
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