Latest — 02 June 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Two men walk from 2011 rape and abetment to commit rape charges

Complainant was 14 at the time

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 31, 2018– Two men who have been charged with rape and abetment to commit rape walked out of the Supreme Court of Justice Collin Williams after the judge instructed a jury of nine to enter a not guilty verdict, bringing to an end a case that has been in the court system since 2011.

Jordy Rhaburn, 42, and Kevon Bardalez, 29, were freed of the indictment on Tuesday, May 29, when the Crown was unable to present the virtual complainant, because she was not in the country.

Crown Counsel Kileru Awich had indicated to the court that the complainant would have participated in the trial via teleconference. Awich, however, was not successful in presenting the witness, so the trial came to an end after Justice Williams instructed the jury to return a formal not guilty verdict.

The incident for which the men were charged occurred on January 31, 2011, in the West Landivar area of the city. A 14-year-old school girl reported to police that she had left school early that day and had gone to a male friend’s house to play video games.

The second form student told police that after playing video games, she asked Bardalez, who was 22 at the time, for a ride to her home.

The girl said that she got into the car with Bardalez and then 35-year-old Jordy Rhaburn. Instead of taking the girl home, however, the two took her to a deserted area in the West Landivar area.

Once they were in the deserted area, Rhaburn pinned her down inside the vehicle and Bardalez allegedly raped her.

When the girl asked them why they were doing that to her, they laughed in her face, she said in her report to police.

The girl eventually escaped and got help from a couple in the West Landivar area.

At an identification parade, the minor was able to identify the two men.

Police charged Rhaburn with abetment to rape and Bardalez with rape.

Rhaburn was unrepresented by an attorney, while attorney Ronell Gonzalez represented Bardalez.

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Deshawn Swasey

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