Crime — 13 June 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks

A father from the southside of Belize City was released on bail after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on a charge of “sexual assault” on his 8-year-old daughter on May 25, 2014, at the family’s house.

The unrepresented man was allowed to enter a not guilty plea after the court’s prosecutor, Sergeant Egbert Castillo, conferred with the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office to get directives on whether to try the case summarily or on indictment.

The Chief Magistrate offered the accused man bail of $1,000 plus one surety in the same amount, on the condition that the accused report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., until his case is concluded.

In addition, Smith ordered him to stay away from his daughter’s home, and he is not to interfere with her throughout the duration of the case.

The allegation against the father is that on May 25, his daughter and a sibling of hers were left in his care.

In the report to police, the child, who was taken to a doctor for examination after she complained of pain in her private area, said that her father put his hand under her underwear and inappropriately fondled her.

According to the report to police, the girl was in a bed with one of her brothers when the father came into the bed and lay between the two of them.

While her brother slept on the other side, he allegedly sexually assaulted the child.

The case, which will be heard in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, has been adjourned to July 31.

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