Suspect, 51, held over 25-year-old child abuse claims

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: A copy of the Sabga report.

Police have made their first arrest into allegations of child abuse arising out of the Sabga Report.

The development comes a month after police assigned to the Child Protection Unit searched two children’s homes in relation to claims of abuse dating back some two decades.

The 51-year-old man was arrested on Friday but has not yet been charged with any offence.

Police said the man was held at work at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital his first day back from vacation. He is being held at the Besson Street Police Station and was identified by three of his alleged victims. Police said the man, who transferred from the Port of Spain General Hospital to the St Ann’s Hospital, is an orderly and was sent on vacation last month when police began investigating the claims.

He was also transferred at that time from Port of Spain to St Ann’s.

The probe began in May after the Prime Minister asked acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob to find a 25-year-old government-sanctioned report into children’s homes that alleged abuse of all kinds.

On July 12 police interviewed a senior member of staff at the St Dominic’s Children’s Home in Belmont, who was a nun when the victims of abuse were at the home.

Police seized documents and searched a condemned area that was damaged by fire years ago, which was in use during the time of the reported abuse.

The following day a team revisited St Mary’s Home, Tacarigua and interviewed one member of staff.

In May head of the Special Victims Department Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne invited victims to come forward and help with the investigation after Dr Rowley insisted that Jacob should not only find the Sabga report but also act on it.

In 1997 the nine-member team led by Dr Robert Sabga investigated children’s homes and found there were allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in which at least 40 children were abused.

The man who was arrested on Friday is alleged to have been a part of the abuse, police said.

The Sabga report, which outlined not only the abuse but cover-ups, became public earlier this year, when Sabga spoke out about it.