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Feb 24, 1999

Alleged child molester remanded until court date

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Tonight parents can breathe a little bit easier since an accused child molester is now behind bars, at least for a while. Forty-four year old Ephraine Eraso appeared in Magistrate’s Court today and was charged with rape and indecent assault. He was remanded to Hattieville Prison until March eleventh when he will reappear in court. Eraso was picked up Monday afternoon after an off-duty police officer caught him with an eleven year old primary school student in an abandoned building at the corner of Banak and Partridge Streets. According to police, their investigation reveals that Eraso has been approaching various primary schools and soliciting sex from the school children. In this particular incident the victim has told police Eraso paid her ten dollars.

But as soon as the Criminal Investigation Branch finished the paper work on Eraso, the officers had to take another man into custody and charge him with unlawful carnal knowledge. Police say acting on a tip, they visited the residence of twenty-one year old Gary Baltazar on Queen Charlotte Street and found him with a fifteen year old girl. Investigations reveal the girl, who is from Dangriga, had been living with Baltazar since the seventeenth of January. When Baltazar was asked if he knew he was living with a minor, the young man told police that when he met the teenager in early January, she told him she was seventeen years old. Further investigation has also revealed that the minor’s mother knew that her daughter was living with Baltazar. According to A.I.P. Simeon Alvarez, Head of C.I.B., when the mother was contacted, she told Dangriga police that her daughter is a runaway and because she has left home several times before, she just gave up looking for her and never filed a missing person’s report. But Alvarez told News Five that even if a parent appears not be interested in the welfare of his or her child, because it is a criminal offence for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a minor, the child then becomes the responsibility of the Social Department who then places the child into a home. Baltazar is expected to appear in Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

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