The presence of businessman and bail bondsman Adil Mohammed Abdullah (formerly Errol Bishop), 65, around the court buildings on Treasury Lane is routine.
But this morning, after a night in police custody, a disoriented-looking Abdullah emerged in handcuffs from the police van transporting detained persons for arraignment at the court.
Police charged Abdullah with one count of rape. No plea was required from him after Magistrate Sharon Frazer read the single charge to him. The offense of rape is an indictable offense and will be heard in the Supreme Court, if a preliminary inquiry determines that there is a prima facie case against him.
Abdullah was released on $7,000 bail plus one surety in the same amount. He is scheduled to return to court on August 5.
Police laid the rape charge against Abdullah after a 19-year-old woman reported to them that he raped her. She told police that on Friday, June 13, around 3:45 p.m., Abdullah picked her up on Marine Parade Boulevard.
The woman told police that he was supposed to take her to Mile 8 on the George Price Highway to show her a house that he said he had for rent.
But instead of taking her to show her the house, Abdullah drove into an off-road in the vicinity of Home Land Memorial Park. Before arriving at that location, he started a conversation with her about his gun, she said.
The victim said that when Abdullah finally stopped his pickup, he put the firearm on the dashboard, took off his clothes and ordered the woman to do the same.
According to the young woman, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, because of her fear that he would use the gun to hurt her, she complied, and Abdullah positioned her inside the vehicle.
According to the victim, he eventually penetrated her, and although she pleaded with him not to ejaculate inside her, he did. He asked her what she was afraid of. She replied that she did not want to contract any sexual disease.
The young woman said that after the assault, she was so traumatized that she could not even put on back her own clothing. Abdullah offered to help her put on back her clothes, but she refused, she said.
He then took a gallon of water that he had at the back of his vehicle and attempted to pour it on her, she related. The victim said that Abdullah then took toilet paper and cleaned himself, then asked her to get a lighter out of the glove compartment, and he burned the toilet paper.
She said that before she could get dressed, he took out his touch screen phone and asked her to expose her private part to him so that he could photograph it.
She said that she was afraid that her photograph might end up on the Internet, so she hid her face. According to the girl, he took three photographs of her naked body, all while attempting to engage her in conversation.
The victim said she managed to put on her clothes eventually, and then the topic of the gun came up again, and Abdullah asked her if she wanted to shoot his gun. She replied no. He appeared annoyed, took the gun and fired off a single round at a tree, she said.
She begged him to take her home.
The victim said that on the way back into Belize City, he inquired of her if she believed in God, and when was the last time she menstruated.
He told her that he could buy her a morning-after pill, but as they were heading up Cemetery Road, he received a call on his cellphone and he slowed the vehicle down to answer the call, she said.
The woman said she took advantage of that and jumped out of the vehicle and went to her relative’s house and told them what had just happened to her.
The victim and her relatives went to the Queen Street Police Station the following morning and reported the rape.
Police did not report the rape in their Monday police report, nor in the Tuesday and Wednesday reports. In fact, the police did not report the rape until six days later, today, Thursday, although the media had carried the story from Tuesday, based on a report given by the victim.
The report today said that “Police have since recovered the firearm and have formally arrested and charged 65-year-old Adil Abdullah, Belizean businessman of #7245 Reggae Street, Belize City, for the crime of (1) count of rape.”
This is not the first rape accusation made by a teenager against Adil Abdullah. In mid-March, 2000, he was charged with aggravated assault, attempted rape, grievous harm, and forcible abduction. Following his arraignment on those charges, he was remanded to prison.
Those charges were based on an alleged incident involving a 15-year-old girl who was a student at Excelsior High School at the time. He was not convicted of those offences, however, because the student had failed to show up at court when the matter was called up.