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May 9, 2017

Charges for Magistrate as Rape Victim Reveals Struggle with Incident

Norman Rodriguez

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, accused by a twenty-seven-year-old woman of rape, is expected to be charged and arraigned in the lower courts on Wednesday.  Despite the crime having allegedly been committed in Dangriga on April eleventh, the magistrate will face charges in the Belize City jurisdiction.  The woman, an ex-girlfriend of the accused magistrate, did not report the incident immediately after it happened; she also said she was not medically examined by a doctor.  With those elements missing, it is believed that the Director of Public Prosecutions is proceeding with criminal charges against Rodriguez on the strength of the alleged victim’s statement.  The report given to Dangriga police details the incident, which purportedly took place at a residence adjacent to the Alejo Beni Park.  The sexual assault reportedly happened while Rodriguez was holding over for the magistrate assigned to that jurisdiction.  On Monday, News Five spoke at length with the woman, who requested anonymity.   During our interview, she admitted to not immediately reporting the matter or seeking medical evaluation supposedly out of fear for the magistrate’s prominence.


Isani Cayetano

“After this incident you mentioned that you were somewhat scared or threatened by him that you did not report it based on the fact that he says he’s a big man, quote on quote.  Did you go to the hospital to get checked out to ensure that you were raped, if that were the case?”


Voice of: Alleged Rape Victim

“I neva gaan because he seh he dah wahn big lawyer and I seh well I noh have, well I cyant fight he because I noh have money and I noh know nothing bout it.  So I neva really [do anything] ‘til when he start threaten me and tell me thing then I like have to report it.”


Isani Cayetano

“You are aware of the seriousness of this allegation that you are making against this person and it may very well be, to my knowledge, that it is the first time a magistrate is being accused of such a crime.  Are you fearful that taking this matter to court that things may turn against you, based on the length of time you actually took to make a report, based on the fact that you never really did go to a doctor to get yourself checked out to ensure that indeed this was a matter where you were raped?”


Voice of: Alleged Rape Victim

“No.  I noh sure.  But eena dah time I neva know nothing, I neva know that I mi have wahn right fi coulda mi gaan gaan report it because, like ah said, he always tell me that he dah magistrate.  Not even di police dehn could do he anything.”


Isani Cayetano

“Weh you woulda tell anybody weh deh out deh weh would seh you liad, you just di mek this up fi try get money outta this man or fi try crash this man career as wahn magistrate? What would you tell that person?”


Voice of: Alleged Rape Victim

“Well I woulda seh that I noh, I have younger sisters and I noh wahn that happen to my younger sisters dehn.  I noh wahn that happen to nobody else because everybody eena this, well almost everybody weh know me and dehn know how I grow up woulda know that I dah somebody, I dah noh like that.  On a whole, I dah noh like that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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