Police officer charged with rape of Venezuelan woman

Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice of­fi­cer Akeem James will ap­pear be­fore a Princes Town Mag­is­trate's Court on Wednes­day morn­ing on three charges of rape, griev­ous sex­u­al as­sault and false im­pris­on­ment of a 29-year-old Venezue­lan woman.

The in­struc­tions to charge the of­fi­cer were hand­ed down by DPP Roger Gas­pard late Tues­day night, ac­cord­ing to se­nior po­lice sources who spoke to Guardian Me­dia.

The in­ci­dent al­leged­ly oc­curred in No­vem­ber 2018 af­ter the 29-year-old vic­tim was tak­en against her will to a house in Princes Town.

James, 28, had been charged for at­tempt­ing to kid­nap an­oth­er Venezue­lan woman in Diego Mar­tin in Feb­ru­ary this year and was al­so iden­ti­fied in a Guardian Me­dia three-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to sex slav­ery in this coun­try.

The vic­tim in this par­tic­u­lar case had spo­ken to Guardian Me­dia dur­ing its three-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The de­ci­sion to charge James came af­ter a re­port was made by the vic­tim to Po­lice Com­plaints Au­thor­i­ty Di­rec­tor David West ear­li­er this year, who had re­vealed to Guardian Me­dia at that time that they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing cer­tain po­lice of­fi­cers for their al­leged in­volve­ment in hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Se­nior sources re­vealed that in April, May and June 2019, there was an "un­prece­dent­ed col­lab­o­ra­tion and a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­tween the PCA and the Pro­fes­sion­al Stan­dards Bu­reau(PSB) in­to this al­le­ga­tion."

James with six years ser­vice was ar­rest­ed at his premis­es at Fair­field Gar­dens, Princes Town. He was charged by Act­ing WC­pl Mur­ray Mar­shall for the of­fences.

The PCA in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ap­proved by David West while the PSB in­ves­ti­ga­tion was led by Act­ing ACP To­taram Dookhie and in­clud­ed Snr Supt Ver­non Roberts, ASP An­tho­ny Rem­mey and In­sp Sheri­don Hill.

Reporter: Mark Bassant

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