Crime General — 19 September 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Bert Vasquez on trial for common assault

SAN IGNACIO–Bert Vasquez, 32, who presently has a murder charge hanging over his head in connection with the death of a teenage girl who was abducted and killed in San Ignacio Town two years ago, appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today to answer to misdemeanor charges based on complaints which were lodged by several underage girls from the Cayo District, who came forward and alleged that Vasquez had also tried to lure them into his vehicle back in June of 2012.

We have been reliably informed that while no reporters were allowed inside the courtroom due to the nature of the case, so far, one young girl has testified in chambers.

Vasquez, who, we are told, appeared unrepresented, was standing trial in connection with one of five “common assault” charges which were levied against him in the wake of the sensational murder of Jasmine Lowe, 13, which sent Cayo residents into a frenzy after she was abducted, killed and her decomposed body was later discovered on a feeder road off the main road in Cristo Rey, Cayo, on June 6, 2012.

After Lowe’s murder, as many as thirteen young girls came forward and made formal reports at the San Ignacio Police Station stating that Vasquez offered them money to go with him in his car, but they ran from him.

Vasquez was caught after residents immediately mobilized and began looking for the suspect’s car, which was later found parked in the area of Branch Mouth in Cayo.

The man in the car was identified as Vasquez, and police, in their official report on June 18, 2012, stated that when officers approached and pulled open the door, he was seen exposing himself to a 12-year old young girl who was sitting in the front seat at the time.

Vasquez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, indecent exposure, and the kidnapping of the little girl, as well as for eleven counts of common assault, six of which were subsequently dropped.

Magistrate Narda Morgan has adjourned the case until October 28, 2014.

Vasquez was also charged for Lowe’s murder, for which he will be tried separately, without a jury, in the Supreme Court, as per a recently passed law that makes provisions for a trial by a judge, without a jury.

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