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Apr 30, 1998

Car dealer implicated in the rape of U.D.P. politician; confessed rapist alleges torture by police

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The politically sensitive case involving the rape of Freetown standard bearer for the U.D.P. Marisa Quan took an abrupt turn today. Eighteen year old Barry Robinson confessed to the crime last week, but what police did not say when they issued their press release making the announcement was that a second man was named in connection with the incident. Today that person, appeared in Magistrate’s Court to answer charges and News Five’s Patrick Jones was there.

Thirty four year old Mark Vasquez was formally charged this afternoon with conspiring to and aiding and abetting in the rape of U.D.P. Freetown standard bearer Marisa Quan. The charges against Vasquez result form a confession given to police by the accused rapist, eighteen year old Barry Robinson. The conspiracy theory in the horrendous crime has been alluded to by the United Democratic Party, but while the confession was highly touted by police as a breakthrough in the politically sensitive case, information which surfaced at the Court House this afternoon does not speak well for the cops. According to his sister Daphne Grant, Barry Robinson was tortured into implicating Vasquez in the incident.

Daphne Grant, Sister

“Them beat him up badly. That’s why he called Markie’s name because we know Markie from we were small and Barry usually go do things for Markie like wash his car and chop out his yard and thing. And so Barry and him close fah then.”

Q: “People will have reason to doubt the story for the gravity of the crime that your brother is accused of, what facts do you have to substantiate the claim that Barry is making that he was tortured by the police?”

Daphne Grant

“Well he has the bruises on him; he has the burns on him and thing to prove that they beat him and tortured him.”

On his way out of Courtroom Number One, after pleading not guilty to some burglary charges, the eighteen year old youth paused briefly to shed more light on the dramatic allegations.

Barry Robinson, Accused Rapist

“The man them just ker me upstairs da Racoon Station and mek I tek off my clothes and them light wah paper and burn me up pon my balls and thing. Kick me up on my belly and tell me that I rape somebody and I no wah mek no more pickney again ina life. Same way one man just tie up two plastic bag over my head and tell me if I ready to talk and like when the man see like I start lose my breath them loose off the bag, continue kick me up and thing ina my belly and thing.”

Q: “And is that why you called Mark Vasquez’s name?”

Barry Robinson

“Yeah, the man dem tell me like same way, I have to call somebody’s name and think fu try get myself out of this and that is the reason why I called Mark Vasquez name.”

Vasquez, who was picked up by police on Tuesday morning, says he was taken by complete surprise when he heard what they were accusing him of.

Mark Vasquez, Car Dealer

“As a matter of fact I was told Tuesday by Barry that he only used my name because di police were shocking him up and have his whole private all burnt up and I am the only one he knows who has money so he could get away.

Well because of my brother used to be a P.U.P. that is what they are figuring when they heard his name but I have nothing to do in politics; I am a car dealer. I don’t deal in politics. As a matter of fact I not even re-register as yet, so I have absolutely nothing to do with that.”

But the allegations don’t end there. According to Barry Robinson’s mother Linda, she was personally sent by the Police High Command to collect the alleged pay-off money from Vasquez.

Linda Robinson, Mother

“Last week Thursday Mr. Brooks send call me from my house. So he tell me, he said, when Barry tell me, he said Ma he dem man that Mark mi give me a thousand dollars, right. So when Mr. Brooks send call me Thursday he say, your son deh ina this here. I said if my son involve with somebody, I don’t want him to go down by himself. So Mr. Brooks when I get up there, they all mi deh deh and call we in one, one so Mr. Brooks say tek this fifty dollars and catch a taxi and go dah Mark right, he said, and tell Mark that Barry say fu tell you give you the rest of the money and if Barry give you di rest of di money, must bring the money to them, right.”

Q: “The fifty dollars from the Commissioner, has it been returned to him?”

Linda Robinson

“When I ker it da C.I.B. they tell me seh, I tell dem seh, I spend fifteen dollars and they seh di change da fi me. They tell me if I wah ketch wah taxi, go home, and go si Mark again and listen fi si whe he gat fi seh – like da something, wah set up thing right.”

Mrs. Robinson said she, did go to visit Vasquez at his work site at the City Centre but was told by Vasquez that he knew nothing about the incident and therefore could not hand over any money to her. Patrick Jones, for News Five.

Mark Vasquez was offered and met bail of four thousand dollars plus a surety of the same amount. He is to reappear in court on June third.

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