Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Businessman walks free of sexual assault charges

‘Teen came with me willingly’

A BUSINESSMAN was yesterday acquitted on charges of grievous sexual assault, common assault, kidnapping and falsely imprisoning a teenager in 2005.

Elvin Beharry, 36, who gave evidence during the trial, maintained that the girl, who was 15 years old at the time, had agreed to go to his home and consented to a sex act with him.

He said when she met him that day, she told him she did not want to go home, and willingly went to his house.

Beharry, of Penal, was represented by attorney Kevin Ratiram in the trial which was heard before Justice Norton Jack in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court.

Attorney Sabrina Dougdeen-Ramlal represented the State.

It was the prosecution’s case that the girl left home around 11.30 a.m. on Republic Day  in 2005 to meet eight of her friends in San Fernando to go to the cinema.

They found out the show was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and instead headed to a club at Gulf City Shopping Mall.

They left there around midnight and the teen travelled with an intoxicated friend to his Debe home. She then walked back to get a taxi and, after some time, boarded a car, in which she said Beharry was the driver.

Along the way, she said, he bought alcoholic beverages for them both, but she did not consume hers.

It was the State’s case that Beharry started heading to Penal instead of San Fernando and the girl protested.

He took her to his home and it was alleged that he pulled her from the car to a bedroom. He tried having sexual intercourse with her and, she said, he also forced her into the sex act.

The teenager claimed she was slapped and slammed on a wall during the incident and several times asked to leave.

She said she was later dropped off at Lord Street, San Fernando. Accompanied by her parents, she made a report to the police.

Constable Baptiste investigated.

Yesterday, the jury found Beharry not guilty on the four charges after deliberating for three hours. They asked for further directions from the judge before returning the verdict.