Couva children’s home ‘perpetrator’ with relatives, being treated

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ayanna Webster-Roy, minister in charge of the Gender and Child Affairs Division, Office of the Prime Minister. – File photo by Lincoln Holder

THE 12-year-old ward of the Couva Children’s Home and Crisis Nursery who allegedly abused by almost a dozen children and two animals in the last six years is in the custody of a relative and is being treated.

In an e-mail response to Newsday, the Ministry of Gender and Child Affairs said when the Children’s Authority of TT (CATT) removed the alleged abuser from the home on May 14, he was placed in the care of a relative while two alleged victims were placed in foster care.

Since then, the ministry said, they have been receiving therapeutic interventions weekly from a psychologist.

“The alleged perpetrator continues his medical appointments at the Child Development Clinic; he is enrolled in the Child Guidance Clinic and has had a recent review of his medication done by Dr Shafe.”

The ministry said the children were all debriefed by Children’s Authority psychologists while a competency assessment was done in accordance with the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, 2011. A forensic interview was also done with the alleged victims.

The ministry said it is still waiting on the outcome of an investigation by the Special Victims Unit of the police service. It added there are court orders for all three children, while the court matter regarding care proceedings for the alleged perpetrator is still ongoing.

In May, the manager of the home and several staffers sounded the alarm over the 12-year-old who, since 2018, had 113 reports against him with allegations of 25 acts of sexually inappropriate behaviour against 11 children and two dogs.

Following incidents earlier this year, the manager found logs with complaints dating back six years. She expressed dissatisfaction with how the matter was handled by her superiors and went directly to the Children’s Authority.

Days after she came forward to the press, she was suspended for breaching her contract by speaking publicly about the home’s operations.