The January 2019 Demerara Assizes has officially begun. More than fifty percent of the trials slated to commence are cases of rape committed against mostly juveniles. Javone Vickerie provides the breakdown in this report.
The beginning of the assizes was observed with a ceremonial parade which included various judges from the Supreme Court, including those from the recently established sexual offenses court. The Director of Public Prosecution Shalimar Ali-Hack was also in attendance.
But it seems the Sexual Offenses Court will have its hands full during the assizes. There are 262 overall cases that are expected to be tried in the High Court. Out of that figure, 150 persons will also be facing rape trials during the assizes in 234 counts of rape are expected to be heard.
Judges in the High Court will be hearing 62 cases of rape that were perpetrated against persons over the age of 18. There are also 158 counts of rape perpetrated against minors that will be heard in the January assizes.
There are also eleven cases of that were perpetrated against juveniles by their relatives. In addition, there are three cases of incest that are expected to be tried in the high court.
The Demerara Assizes will also see Eighty-five murder cases to be tried. Among those to face trial for murder is recaptured prison escapee Stafrei Hopkinson and businessman Robert Benn, accused of murdering Colin Ferreira in Tucville back in 2016.
The five teens accused of murdering the late Professor Perry Mars will also have their case heard in the high court. There is also ten cases of manslaughter scheduled to have trials. Another recaptured prison escapee Travis Evans will also face a jury for robbery.