Perverts take aim at children

THE police have made two more arrests in connection with the alleged rape of young girls across the island, at a time when child protection agencies are expressing concern that Jamaica’s children, who are out of school, are at risk.

In the latest case, a 10-year-old girl of a St Catherine address, who has a learning disability, was allegedly raped by a 48-year-old neighbour.

According to investigators, last Sunday the 10-year-old was at home when she was lured into bushes by the neighbour, who is a friend of her family.

He allegedly stripped the child, whose mental ability is below that of others in her age group, and raped her. The child reported the matter to her father, who took her to a health centre where it was confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.

The matter was reported to the police Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCT), and following investigations the accused, a labourer, was arrested and charged. No date has yet been set for him to appear in court.

In the other case, a 13-year-old of an Old Harbour address in St Catherine, reported that, for the past several years her stepfather has repeatedly fondled her and raped her whenever her mother left her in his care.

Following investigations by the police, the stepfather, a 48-year-old fisherman, was arrested and charged with rape and two counts of sexually touching a child.

The latest incidents mark the third time in less than a week that the police have made arrests in connection with alleged rape of the nation’s young girls.

Last week, a 30-year-old Hanover farmer was arrested and charged after he allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl twice at his house.

Police sources told the Jamaica Observer that sometime last year the child and her mother, who was in a relationship with the farmer, overnighted at his house.

It is alleged that while the mother was sleeping the farmer went to the bed where the child was sleeping, woke her up, and indicated that he wanted to take her virginity.

The sources say the farmer forcefully pulled down the child’s tights and had sex with her.

Weeks later the child was at the farmer’s house alone when, allegedly, he again forced himself on her and had sex with her.

Investigators say the farmer threatened the child, telling her that if she told anyone about either incident he would kill her and her entire family as he knew where they lived in Westmoreland.

But a recent dispute between the farmer and the girl’s mother pushed the child to reveal that she had been raped twice by him.

Last month, the Observer reported that sexual predators had seemingly gone on a rampage since the novel coronavirus-related restrictions started in March, assaulting a number of children who were forced to stay home after Government ordered schools shut in the face of the pandemic.

For the month of April, children below 11 years of age accounted for 45 sexual cases reported to the Ministry of Justice’s Victim Services Division, while children 12 to 17 years of age accounted for 114 cases. Those in the over 18 age group (legally adults) factored in 186 cases.

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