The High Court in Georgetown is getting ready to hear scores of sexual offence cases in its current session with most of the cases involving children as the alleged victims.
One hundred and forty-nine sexual offence cases have been listed for the new Court session. Of those 149 cases, Court documents have revealed that children are the alleged victims in 115 cases.
Justice Jo-Ann Barlow has been assigned to handle the cases. In one of the cases, a man will be facing nine counts of sexual assault against a child below the age of 16.
It is unlikely that all of the cases will be disposed before the end of the session. Some might have to be pushed over to the next session.
Today, the Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Greene, explained to News Source that there is an increase in reports of sex abuse against children. She said the increase in reports might not necessarily mean an increase in cases, but it appears as though the agency’s public awareness drive is paying off.
She explained that in the first eight months of this year, the Child Care and Protection Agency received over 600 reports of sex abuse against children.
Those cases are currently being investigated and are not part of the ones that are currently before the Courts.
Ms. Greene said once her agency receives a report, it would launch an immediate investigation along with the Police and refer the child to one of its non-governmental partner for counseling sessions.
Completed files would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice on the cases before they make their way to the Court.
The Child Care Director said since the opening of the Sexual Offenses Court, matters have been moving faster, but the agency remains worried about the high number of reports it continues to receive about sexual violence and abuse being committed against children.