Trinidad Soldier Denied Bail Again For Alleged Sexual Assault Of 3 Boys

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – A 43-year-old De­fence Force Cor­po­ral, ac­cused of kid­nap­ping and rap­ing three school­boys over two years, has failed in his third at­tempt to ob­tain bail.

De­liv­er­ing an oral de­ci­sion at the end of a brief ap­peal at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain, yes­ter­day morn­ing, Ap­pel­late Judges Al­ice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mo­hammed, and Prakash Moo­sai dis­missed an ap­peal, in which Cpl Ster­ling Brent Fi­garo was chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion of a High Court Mas­ter who re­fused his sec­ond ap­pli­ca­tion for bail.

Mo­hammed, who pre­sent­ed the pan­el’s de­ci­sion, not­ed that the Mas­ter made an er­ror when she de­nied Fi­garo bail based on the ground that he may face at­tacks from the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies if he is re­leased pend­ing tri­al.

Mo­hammed ruled that there was no ev­i­dence be­fore the court that could have but­tressed the Mas­ter’s con­cerns over Fi­garo’s safe­ty.

He al­so ruled that the Mas­ter im­prop­er­ly con­sid­ered the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fences, Fi­garo is ac­cused of, as a de­ter­mi­na­tive fac­tor for bail.

Mo­hammed did note that such con­sid­er­a­tions could be “thrown in the pot” when mak­ing the as­sess­ment.

De­spite the Mas­ter’s er­rors, Mo­hammed ruled that he and his col­leagues were still en­ti­tled to de­ny Fi­garo bail on the ground that he may com­mit ad­di­tion­al of­fences once re­leased.

Ac­cord­ing to ev­i­dence pre­sent­ed in the ap­peal, the at­tacks on the teens, ages 12, 14, and 16, oc­curred be­tween June 2017 and No­vem­ber, last year.

Fi­garo is ac­cused of kid­nap­ping the boys and sex­u­al­ly pen­e­trat­ing them sev­er­al times. With two of the boys, Fi­garo al­leged­ly pre­tend­ed to be a po­lice of­fi­cer and threat­ened them with a gun be­fore sex­u­al­ly as­sault­ing them.

Fi­garo, a di­vorced fa­ther of three with 22 years’ ser­vice in the De­fence Force, was ar­rest­ed by of­fi­cers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT) hours af­ter the last at­tack al­leged­ly oc­curred.

Fi­garo made the bail ap­pli­ca­tion to the Mas­ter af­ter he was de­nied bail by a Mag­is­trate in his first court ap­pear­ance.