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2020 elections candidate under investigation for alleged sexual offence; victim’s suicide

A Hindu priest and candidate for the 2020 general elections is being investigated for alleged violation of the Sexual Offences Act, and investigators are trying to determine if there was any link to the 13-year-old girl committing suicide, police said.

Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) Commander, Assistant Commissioner Simon McBean said “we are investigating a report of sexual assault” against a pandit.

The names and addresses of the complainant and the alleged perpetrator are being withheld to protect the girl’s identity in keeping with the Sexual Offences Act.

He said the pandit has since been placed on GYD$150,000 station bail as police continue their probe into the 13-year-old girl’s allegation of “inappropriate touching of hands” between October, 2019 and January, 2020.

McBean said the girl committed suicide Saturday, prompting investigators to ascertain whether there was any link to the alleged sexual offence. “We have extended our investigation to see whether there is any relationship between the suicide and the allegation.

The Divisional Commander said based on a forensic investigation, police put the allegation to the pandit when he was arrested on February 20, and subsequently released on station bail.