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Aug 24, 2006

Arnold charged with rape; police justify long wait

Story PictureHe was detained yesterday pending a charge of rape, but today forty-four year old Curtis Arnold was arrested and charged with that crime and a lot more following allegations made by a sixteen year old girl. On August seventh the complainant reported to police that earlier that day she was at a beach party when Arnold offered her a ride home. Instead he allegedly took her to his own residence where he raped her. The victim, however, refused to give a detailed account to the police and requested that no court action be taken against Arnold. Corozal police subsequently never did any follow up investigations. In a press briefing held this afternoon, Head of National C.I.B., Superintendent James Magdaleno told us that it wasn’t until the victim visited the Corozal Police station a week later, that any action was taken.

Superintendent James Magdaleno, Head of National C.I.B
?On the fifteenth of August, she went back to the Corozal police station, and requested court action, this time concerning the same incident. As a follow-up it was our duty and our responsibility to see to her request. So the investigation continued. We recorded a number of statements.?

?After the recording of the statements, the D.P.P. office was consulted. I spoke to Crown Counsel Ms. Henry, who gave us certain directives. Hence the reason today, Mr. Curtis Arnold, forty-four years, a businessman of Santa Rita Layout, Corozal Town was today arrested and charged for the following crimes: Forcible Abduction, Rape and Threat of Death. He was today taken to the Magistrate?s Court where he was offered and met bail in the sum of five thousand dollars plus one surety. And he is to reappear at the Magistrate?s Court in Corozal on the seventeenth of October, 2006.?

But while police have definitely acted, there were some questions as to what took them so long and why a senior official had to intervene. According to Magdaleno, his involvement was necessary due to the stature of the accused and the apparent foot dragging on the part of the Corozal police.

Superintendent James Magdaleno, Head of National C.I.B.
?It was a criminal offence, this man?s name was called and that?s the reason why I got involved in it.?

Alfonso Noble, Channel Seven
?Why is it sensitive??

Superintendent James Magdaleno
?In a sense that–because of the person involved again. And it seems as if though, they didn?t want to do the proper investigations that needed to have been done. That?s the reason I went there. The girl again didn?t want anything initially, so I had to go there and try to talk to this girl to cooperate with the police.?

When asked if his statement implied that the Corozal police were not doing their job, Magdaleno said no, that what he meant was that the local cops just needed some assistance as their senior Officer, Mr. Henderson, was on leave.

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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