By Reshma Ragoonath
June 27, 2012 – guardian.co.tt
A Gasparillo woman who turned a blind eye while her nine-year-old daughter was being sexually abused in their home in 2003 has been jailed for nine months. The woman, who was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, appeared before Magistrate Alicia Chankar in the San Fernando court. She was convicted of failing to report to the police that her daughter was being sexually abused by a 20-year-old man.
The offence took place on a date unknown in November 2003. Court Prosecutor Sgt Russell Ramoutar led the State’s case. Chankar, in passing sentence on the mother of eight, said, “A mother serves as a protector. As parents we have a duty to care for a child, not only in the embryonic stage.”
The magistrate said it seems the family had a “history of turning the other way and placing blame where blame is not warranted.” She said the rights of the child needs to be protected and the court could not condone such actions. Chankar said the country needed organisations such as Advocates of the Child in the United States of America to step in when such matters come before the court to offer counselling. The girl, now a teenager, testified in court that her mother beat her when she reported the abuse.