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From left, Gersy Goatache, Heidi Diquez, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, DCP Operations Jayson Forde and manager of the TTPS Gender-Based Violence Unit Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne at yesterday’s meeting.

PETER CHRISTOPHER

[email protected]

Police expect to lay charges against the suspects held in relation to the physical assault of a Venezuelan teenager over the next two days.

Deputy Police Commissioner (Crime and Intelligence) McDonald Jacob confirmed this while giving an update on the case during the weekly police press briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain yesterday.

“The young Venezuelan national young lady who was brutally attacked is presently in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital. There are currently two suspects in the custody of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. The investigation is continuing with the intent to charge the offenders within the next 48 hours,” said Jacob, who also confirmed one of the suspects was a Special Reserve Police officer who had been sick leave.

The SRP was one of two men held on Wednesday in relation to the case, after police intercepted a vehicle matching the description of a car that had picked up the Venezuelan teen prior to the attack.

However, both Jacob and Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith explained that the police’s perceived silence in the wake of the arrest had little to do with the fact that a suspect was attached to the TTPS. They explained that they were still building information on the case and did not which to prejudice the matter before charges were laid.

Griffith also confirmed that he met with Venezuelan activist group Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela Solidarity Network yesterday to discuss their concerns about violence and sexual assault against the migrant community.

“The individuals I met, they actually broke down in tears, there is a great degree of concern as to what is happening,” Griffith said.

“As it pertains to the abuse, especially of females, coming from South America, we have the concerns as it pertains to child prostitution, abuse, virtual slavery and obviously sexual offences that will take place, especially on some of these women.” Griffith also confirmed the group had its reservations concerning approaching law enforcement, as several figures of authority had also been perpetrators of abuse on the community.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Jayson Forde and manager of the Gender-Based Violence Unit, Supt. Claire Guy-Alleyne, were also present at the meeting and the group was given an insight into what channels they can use to report these crimes.