A Dominican Republic man, who allegedly held a woman at knifepoint and had non-consensual anal and vaginal sex with her on a cargo boat last week, has been charged with rape.
Pedro Antonio Brown de la Cruz, a 32-year-old cargo boat employee, allegedly committed the offence on December 7 this year.
He was denied bail when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards on Thursday. The unrepresented man was not required to plead as the offence is ‘indictable’; meaning it is triable before a judge and jury at the High Court.
The court heard that in the small hours of the morning on the day in question, the reported rape victim — who is also employed on a cargo boat docked at Port Purcell on Tortola — was asleep in her cabin when she heard the door open.
Assuming that her relative, who also worked on the boat, had come to check up on her, she spoke to him in their native tongue. She, however, got no response and became alarmed so turned on the cabin lights, the court heard. She then allegedly saw the accused rapist standing in the room with a knife in his hand.
He allegedly placed the knife to her throat and demanded that she follow his orders. He threatened to kill her and her relative then switched off the light, the court heard.
It is alleged that the accused Hispanic man then proceeded to remove her clothes and sexually assault her. It is further alleged that the man forced her to perform oral sex on him. He then buggered and had vaginal sex with her for hours, it is alleged.
During the process, he allegedly tugged her hair and repeatedly bit her on the cheeks and lips; causing scars.
During the ordeal, the victim allegedly left scratch and bite marks of her own on the alleged rapist’s back and chest.
The victim was also able to see two distinctive moles on his body – one behind his ear and one on his back, the court heard. It is also reported that she had a good look at him while he was dressing to leave. The police were summoned sometime after.
The court also heard that a security guard stationed in the area allegedly saw the accused man leaving the boat approximated 5 am.
It is alleged that, a few days later, the victim came within a few feet of the accused man while shopping at a popular supermarket in Port Purcell. Police were later alerted and the accused man was apprehended.
He was subsequently arrested and charged.
During the police interview, Brown de la Cruz claimed that the bite and scratch marks on his body was as a result of loose wires in his mattress.
He also denied the victim’s claims that he raped her, saying that she made up the incident.
Used condom left behind
He reportedly told police that on the night in question, he was at a bar in Road Town and he walked to Baugher’s Bay where the vessel that he worked on was docked. He said he did not make any stops at Port Purcell along the way.
Meanwhile, the court heard that the woman’s alleged attacker had left a used condom behind. Police have since recovered the condom and have sent it to be tested against a fresh sample of the accused man’s DNA.
The court heard that the victim and the accused had made contact once before when he came to her boat to conduct business with a crew member.
He returns to court on January 30.
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