by Linda Straker
Police have confirmed that the rape and sexual assault charges against school teacher and national 20/20 cricketer Denroy Charles, were discontinued on Thursday, 3 September 2015.
“When the main witness in the matter took the stand, she informed the court that it was her wish and desire that the matter be discontinued against the accused man,” said the Police, who explained that among the reasons provided to the court, was that he is the father of her child.
In Grenada, a criminal matter can be thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence, and/or not following the correct procedure when gathering evidence; while a matter can be discontinued at the request of the complainant. However, the decision to discontinue any matter in court must “have just cause in the opinion of the Court.”
Denroy Charles, who is a teacher at a primary school in St Andrew, was charged with rape and sexual assault on the Carnival weekend, and was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison at Richmond Hill. He was granted bail the Wednesday following Carnival, after his lawyer made an application to the Court.
When word got around in his community that he was sent to prison for the sexual-related offences, some well-known persons in his community of Tivoli decried the action of the Court, claiming that it was a “set up,” and organised a rally.
In the invitation to the rally, Livingston Nelson called on other citizens to “Come and sign the petition. Let us send a resounding No to the way an upright citizen freedom and reputation got tarnished by the abuse of judicial and power.”
The action from the victim comes as no surprise to a few women who advocate for women’s right in Grenada. “No other crime ignites a firestorm of finger-pointing and lack of sympathy against the victim,” said one social worker who prefers not to be named.
“Unlike victims of any other crime, rape victims are often subject to concerted ostracizing, disbelief, and blame, and it is for this reason that most rape victims don’t report the incident, or choose to discontinue the matter when it’s before the court. Most are pressured from friends, family and institutions we least expect to do so,” she added.