Bus driver on trial for raping minor

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The trial of a bus driver accused of tying up a minor and raping her in his vehicle began in the High Court yesterday. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

It is said that one afternoon in April 2019, the man, who is in his 40s, raped the then 13-year-old girl when charged with dropping her home in his private vehicle.

The alleged victim was the first to take the stand in the jury trial before Justice Ann-Marie Smith.

She told the court that she had known the accused for about five months before the incident because he was a bus driver for the route where she resided at the time.

The young girl said that on the day of the incident, she and her aunt were waiting outside their home for a bus to go into town, and in short order the defendant pulled up and offered them a ride.

She said that the man told them that he had to stop at KFC first, and her aunt said that she did not mind, and also asked if he could pick up her friend.

After making those stops, the defendant dropped her aunt and her friend in front of the St John’s Police Station but “my aunt told him that she forgot her phone home, and if he could drop me back home for it. He said okay, no problem,” she recounted.

She went on to tell the court that on their way to the house she fell asleep because “I got into a car accident the week before, and the pills that they gave me makes me fall asleep”.

The child said that she felt the car stop and opened her eyes to realise that her hands and feet were tied with a white rope. The man had stopped under a tree somewhere in Potters.

“I was scared,” she said.

She recalled that the man came to the back seat where she was sitting, pulled back the seat, pulled down her underwear and removed his pants.

“I was trying to come out, but I couldn’t come out of the rope,” she stated.

She claimed that he then raped her, before putting her underwear back on, and his pants.

He then drove her home. The girl said that it wasn’t until they got to the house that he untied her and threatened to kill her along with her mother if she told anyone what had happened.

She said that, in fright, she ran straight into the house and took a shower.

The defendant’s lawyer Lawrence Daniels then got his turn to question the witness.

He suggested that the girl did not tell the police about the accident which caused her to be on medication in her initial statement, but the witness was adamant that she did.

She also told the court that the statement was not read back to her, neither was she given it to read as is standard procedure.

The defence also scrutinised the girl’s evidence, asking her how the accused was able to put on or take off her underwear if her feet were tied with rope.

The alleged victim explained that her undergarment was not taken off completely.

The minor’s aunt was the second to testify. She corroborated the girl’s story about being offered a ride by the defendant, and then requesting that he take the complainant back home.

She admitted to the defence that she accepted the ride because the accused was never disrespectful or “forward”.

The girl’s mother then told the court that it was after she scolded the child for opening a Facebook account that the child revealed what had apparently happened.

The mother added that when she found out, she got upset and ran out of the house to confront the accused, but was stopped by her boyfriend.

The trial was adjourned until today

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