Accused sex offender to face court today

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A 29-year-old man from Barbuda was charged yesterday with unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 14 years – an allegation equivalent to rape, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison upon conviction.
The charge comes a week after he allegedly committed the act on a 12-year-old girl who is said to be related to him.
According to OBSERVER media’s correspondent on the sister isle, it is alleged that on Tuesday May 23, the man lured the girl to go with him by providing false information about a relative wanting to see her urgently.
Since the child is reportedly familiar with the man, she accepted a ride in his vehicle. Instead of taking the girl to the aunt, the man allegedly took her elsewhere and violated her in his vehicle.
The source said the man was detained last week Wednesday and released on Saturday, pending further investigations.
This angered some of her relatives who said they were surprised to learn of his release and up to that time he had not been charged.
The man was however, released because he had been in custody for the maximum 48 hours allowed by law if a person is not charged. Reports from the source indicate the police in Barbuda were not ready to file charges as they were awaiting assistance from forensic investigators from Antigua. Those investigators only reported for duty in Barbuda on Saturday.
Sources on the sister isle yesterday said once this process was done, the man was detained again early yesterday and later charged.
They also said they saw the police escorting the man to the ferry yesterday afternoon, to bring him to Antigua ahead of court today.
The suspect cannot be named according to the Sexual Offences Act and neither can the complainant, unless they both waive the right or, in the case of the man, the only other time his name can be revealed is if he is convicted.

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