BELIZE CITY, Wed. Aug. 25, 2021– Three recent incidents of sexual assault against children are being investigated by the Belize Police Department after a sequence of heinous sexual crimes occurred over a period of three days across the country.
On Saturday evening, August 21, a 12-year-old girl from the San Mateo area of San Pedro went to the bathouse when she was attacked by a 20-year-old man, who is known to her family. He reportedly pushed her into the bathroom and forcibly had sexual intercourse with the minor, whose mother had come looking for her. He tried to silence her by reportedly covering her mouth, but eventually released her. The mother of the victim then pushed open the door of the outhouse and allegedly caught him hiding behind a curtain.
The child was taken for a medical examination, which determined that she had been carnally known. Her assailant has since been charged with rape.
Over the weekend, another horrific sexual crime occurred that involved a breach of trust. The victim of the incident was a 12-year-old boy, and the person who sexually assaulted him was someone his family trusted — the child’s tutor. It was reported that on Saturday, August 21, the minor was taken to his tutor’s house in the Belama Phase 4 area, where he was sodomized by the teacher. The tutor, who reportedly fled to Dangriga before being apprehended by police, has also been charged with rape.
And on Monday, a wanted poster was issued by police for Nigel Gonzalez, a resident of Corozal, for a sexual assault that was allegedly committed in Belmopan.
These recent repugnant sexual crimes have caused the public to look to the authorities for answers, and many social media users have called on the Ministry of Families to do more.
Tanya Santos, the CEO of that Ministry, has agreed that more has to be done to safeguard our children from predators who seek to abuse the trust of a child.
A joint release issued by the Ministry of Human Development, Families, NCFC, and the Special Envoy for Families and Children condemned the recent acts of sexual abuse against children.
The release states, “Sexual abuse continues to be the second most reported form of child abuse. Statistical data from the Department of Human Services shows a total of 220 sexual abuse/assault reports from January to June 2021 and 366 reports in 2020. Children who have been assaulted suffer physical, psychological, and emotional distress. The long-term effects on the child can lead him or her to display a range of negative emotional and behavioral reactions.”
Recent reports are that police have since made arrests of two male persons for the disturbing incidents which took place this past week. A 20- year-old man from San Pedro identified as Alejandro Choce was charged with two counts of rape of a child in connection to the incident that took place in the San Mateo area of San Pedro on Saturday. A 34-year-old, Jeffrey Daniel Gillett was also charged with two counts of rape of a child for an incident that took place in Belama on Saturday.