GDF Chaplain sent on early retirement over sex assault claims

GDF Chaplain sent on early retirement over sex assault claims

The Chaplain of the Guyana Defence Force has been sent on early retirement leave following a sex assault complaint that was filed against him by a female member of the army.

GDF Chief of Staff, ¬†Brigadier Mark Phillips on Thursday confirmed that Force Chaplain Reverend Brentnol Bess was sent on leave as he gets ready to retire at the end of March. “He is not coming back here, he has been sent on leave. He was expected to retire in March so we decided that he could proceed on leave now”, Phillips told News Source.

According to the Chief of Staff, his office received an official complaint from a female member of the GDF and had to immediately act on the complaint. He said a probe was done and a decision was made to send the Chaplain on pre retirement leave.

Brigadier Phillips did not want to go into the details of the complaint but he said “the complaint was made at this level and it had to be dealt with here. Had the person who filed the complaint, also filed a police complaint then it would have been a police matter”.

There are reports that the GDF wanted to dismiss the Chaplain completely but it received legal advice against going down that route in fear of lawsuits.

News Source understands that the female soldier complained about being sexually assaulted and harassed by the Chaplain during a visit to him for prayers and guidance.

The position of Chaplain of the Guyana Defence Force is an important one since the person holding that office is considered a counselor and religious guide for many in the GDF.

Filed:  5th February, 2015

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