General — 30 November 2010 — by Stacey Kelly
Today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, the trial of Leroy Gomez, charged on a count of rape and robbery, began. Gomez, 25, a resident of Belize City, was unrepresented in court.
Senior Crown Counsel Yohanhseh Cave is representing the state and has six witnesses lined up for testimony.
The incident allegedly occurred around 6:30 a.m., on September 14, 2008, as the complainant, a resident of Belize City, was walking home. Cave addressed the jurors and explained that the complainant would take the stand and present evidence of her assault and rape.
“I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, to render a verdict in accordance to the evidence,” said Cave in his opening address.
Cave continued by stating that the complainant identified Gomez in the identification parade as the man who had assaulted her. Cave also explained that the complainant would explain that she recognized Gomez because she had allegedly seen him before – prior to the date of the incident.
“The key issue is of identification,” Cave said.
The first witness for the prosecution was Corporal Lauren Lopez, attached to the Crimes Investigation Branch in Belize City.
Lopez explained that the complainant had made the report of the assault on September 14, 2008, and due to the nature of the report she, Lopez, had requested another officer, PC Arzu, to accompany the complainant to the hospital for a medical examination.
Lopez continued by saying that, “On Friday, September 26, 2008, around 9:00 a.m., one Leroy Gomez was escorted to the CIB office by his mother [name withheld]. I then cautioned Leroy Gomez; I then requested Sergeant Palomo to conduct an identification parade on Leroy Gomez. As a result of the ID parade, I obtained a warrant and formally charged Leroy Gomez for the crime of rape; he chose to remain silent”.
The trial was adjourned today and is to continue tomorrow, Tuesday.