General — 06 December 2017 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Nestor Galindo, taxi driver, gets 2 years for sexual assault

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Dec. 4, 2017–   Nestor Galindo, 44, a taxi driver originally from El Salvador who was found guilty of sexual assault last Friday, was sentenced to 2 years today by Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. The sentence is to take effect from today.

Galindo had been found guilty of the charge on Friday by Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford, who remanded him into custody until today, Monday, for sentencing.

The complainant, a 15-year-old girl, testified that at around 6:30 p.m. on January 2, 2017, she hired Galindo to take her to a guesthouse on Regent Street, where her mother works. She said Galindo was drinking from a bottle that she suspected contained alcohol, and she smelled alcohol on his breath.

She testified that Galindo touched her three times on her thigh while she was seated on the back seat of his taxi car. She said the first touch occurred while they were in front of Habet and Habet Hardware Store on Cemetery Road.

She said the second touch, which was more like a caress, occurred when they were in front of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is a short distance from Habet and Habet.

She said Galindo touched her the third time when they were in front of Atlantic Bank Collection Agency, which is also on Cemetery Road. She said Galindo then told her he would have to go to Novelo’s Bus Terminal to pick up a customer, and he did.

She also testified that Galindo told her not to tell anyone what had occurred, otherwise he would have her mother fired.

The girl’s mother testified that when her daughter arrived at the guesthouse, she was in tears. She said she asked her daughter what was the matter, and her daughter told her, reluctantly, what Galindo did.

She said that her daughter explained that she had been hesitant to tell her at first because of the threat Galindo made.

Galindo, in testimony, denied that he committed the offence. He said the girl concocted the story because she wanted money. He said he is the father of three daughters and he would never do such a thing.

He claimed that it was impossible for him to do what the girl said he did because she was on the back seat of his car and he was driving.

But Senior Magistrate Ford did not believe his version of the event, and she found him guilty.

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