Local Govt Minister arrested for alleged rape of teen girl

Last Updated on Monday, 19 June 2023, 20:03 by Denis Chabrol

Mr. Nigel Dharamlall. (file picture)

Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall was Monday arrested for the alleged rape of a 16-year old girl, hours after he denied the now almost one week-old allegation.

The Guyana Police Force indicated that he presented himself to the Brickdam Police Station “in the company of his attorney, where he was told of the allegation and subsequently arrested.”

Police said the probe is ongoing.

“The Guyana Police Force wishes to confirm that an investigation has been launched in relation to an allegation of rape against the Minister of Local Government, Mr Nigel Dharamlall,” the law enforcement agency said.

His arrest followed a complaint to the police by the Ministry of Human Services’ Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) and the interviewing of the girl by a non-governmental children’s rights non-governmental organisation.

The girl has since been taken into protective care of the State. After the detailed open letter to the President and the Minister of Education by the girl, she had recanted her story and called it “untruths”. However, well-placed sources said that in the video-recorded version of the interview with the non-governmental organisation, the teenager stuck to her original account and provided further details.

Mr Dharamlall, whose request for leave to allow for the investigation was granted by President Irfaan Ali, earlier Monday, through Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, denied all of the allegations.

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton and several other opposition parties, the women and children’s rights organisation- Red Thread- and a broad section of the Guyanese society had all joined in the call for action to be taken against the minister.