A Guyana Defence Force source familiar with the case involving 27 year old Lieutenant Marvin Douglas is adamant that it was the Guyana Defence Force and the Government of Guyana that deserted the army officer after sex charges were dropped against him in a U.S court last December.
The officer was charged with sodomy and molestation in 2011 after he allegedly had sex with a teenage girl while on a military training programme in St. Louis, Missouri. However, the Prosecution in the case decided not to proceed with the charges because there was insufficient evidence. All of the charges were dropped against the Lieutenant and he was released from custody after spending close to 15 months in the St. Louis county jail-house.
Lieutenant Marvin Douglas returned to Guyana on April 17, 2013 after “months of being ignored by GDF authorities” according to the military source. News Source was told that following the young man’s release, he immediately made contact with the Guyana Embassy in Washington D.C seeking the embassy’s help. He was told, according to the source, that he would have to furnish the embassy with all documents proving that the charges against him were dropped before any help could be offered.
The Guyana Embassy would eventually use its office to acquire the information. The source explained that all this time, the army officer was forced to spend time at a friend as he had no money and was not being offered any help from the Guyana Defence Force.
“He was never visited by any official of the GDF while in custody for all those months and even after he got out, senior officials ignored his calls and text messages and he was left to fend on his own, with no money and with no help from his country or the army he served”, the source said.
Sources close to the young officer have explained that he only received an airline ticket from the Guyana Embassy on April 16th, 2013 and he travelled to Guyana the next day. He was welcomed home at the airport by officers of the Guyana Defence Force who informed him that he was being placed under “open arrest” and would be confined to the Army Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna until it was time for them to deal with his matter.
The officer was reportedly shocked to learn that he would be charged with desertion since according to the source the GDF was well aware of his location in the U.S and knew that he had no means to travel to Guyana on his own. “They had telephone numbers to make contact with him and they never did. He was deserted by his own army”, the source revealed.
During and after his detention in the United States, his parents were in constant contact with the GDF and the Foreign Affairs Ministry and were not offered much assistance, according to the source familiar with the case.
A senior military official said the man’s case is being examined. Repeated efforts to contact the Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best were unsuccessful. He was unavailable to offer a comment.