The Observer is currently investigating an allegation of child rape that reportedly occurred within the confines of a local primary school. This media house was reliably informed that a male student of a Basseterre public primary school recently committed the act of buggery against another male student while school was in session. According to a source, the offender attacked the other child in the school’s bathroom and forced himself on the young boy. It was also said that this was not the first time that the accused had raped the other boy, and that the matter was previously “hushed down”by authorities. The principal of the school was reluctant to confirm the incident but eventually told The Observer that the matter was in the hands of the Ministry of Education. “It has gone beyond me and I believe the Education Officer for the school is handling it. The Ministry is involved and they will have to decide how they are going to deal with the situation. It is now in legal hands.”He explained that in such a case, once an incident of sexual assault is reported, an investigation would ensue to determine what had transpired. Like with adult instances, he said, cases of rape were difficult to prove. “It is sometimes a case where we hear that somebody said something happened and then we would have to call everyone involved in to determine what, if anything, took place. Then physical evidence would have to be sought and doctors may have to confirm certain aspects. An official investigation by trained personnel and police would be conducted before any action is taken.”The Director of Child Protection Services Maurice Williams spoke exclusively with this media house and said although he could not confirm that the incident in question had occurred, there was a case pending that “bears some resemblance”. “I can’t be positive that the situation you are referring to was reported to us, however there is some resemblance to a case that is currently being worked on,”he said, adding that the social worker handling the matter was not available at the time. Attempts were made t contact the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Osmond Petty but The Observer was told the senior official was “off island”and the Education Officer assigned to the school could not be reached for comment up until press time.
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