Saturday, February 24, 2018

14 sex charges for Tobago principal

Fourteen sexual offence charges have so far been laid against the principal of a prominent primary school in Tobago.

Officers told the Express yesterday, following interviews with the victims 75 charges were being looked at initially, but following further investigations, 14 charges have been laid.

The principal will appear before the Scarborough Magistrates’ Court today to face the charges.

Sources told the Express, the principal, a resident of Goodwood, is married and last week delivered a sermon to a packed congregation at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tobago.

His arrest has come as a surprise to many of the Adventist faith.

Four female victims have so far been identified in the case, their ages ranging from 10-12 years and all are pupils of the primary school.

The incidents occurred on the school compound over a period of a year.

The charges laid in the matter range from indecent assault to serious indecency.

WPC Moore and WPC Clarke laid the charges in the matter.

The Tobago Mission of the Seventh Day Adventist Church has labelled the arrest of the principal as unfortunate.

Communications director of the Tobago Mission, Wilfred Des Vignes, told the Express it is heart breaking, unfortunate and not in keeping with the high standards and morals of the Adventist Church.

“While I would not want to go in depth into the matter since it is under investigation, the matter is an unfortunate one. Our committee met on Saturday to discuss the matter and inform all of the arrest of the principal. I wish not to say too much on the matter at this time as investigations continue,” said Des Vignes.

The principal was suspended recently by the Tobago Mission, following an internal investigation.

Police officials later visited the school and conducted interviews.

Commenting on the matter, TTUTA Tobago officer Orlando Kerr said the situation is a serious blow to the educational system in Tobago.

“This serves to undermine the confidence people have in the education system. However, while not making any pronouncements in the matter, it is one of concern to parents, and the safety of their children at school. The incident is an unfortunate one,” said Kerr.