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Witnesses in rape of male to be summoned to court

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

SUMMONSES have been issued for an alleged rape victim, who is male, to appear before the court.

The man, who was a teenager when the charge of rape was brought against Reshmi Dipnarine, was a no-show when the matter was called in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Defence attorney Shawn Teekasingh, who held for Dipna­rine’s lawyer Dexter Bailey, said Bailey had expressed concern the prosecution witnesses seemed to have no interest in continuing with the case.

But State attorney Sunita Ramjattan said the alleged victim had given evidence last February and was told to return to court on March 10 for cross-examination.

He, however, did not appear on those days. His mother, another witness, was also absent.

Summonses were issued for them to appear in court yesterday, but Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington confirmed the documents had not been delivered.

Ramjattan said she spoke to the alleged victim’s mother on Monday and was told they were in Tobago.

Wellington reminded the matter was dated back to 2008 and service should be made as soon as possible. Yesterday, Ramjattan requested new summonses, and police prosecutor Sgt Veano Ragoo is to ensure they are served.

The matter will next be called on June 9.

In 2008, Dipnarine, who was then 21 years old and living in Freeport, was charged by Constable Harripersad with having sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old without his consent on March 30 and April 4 of that year.

Dipnarine is out on $80,000 bail and is under a court order to stay 100 feet away from the alleged victim.

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