Joel Balcon

DEAD: Joel Balcon

WOMEN, and men, are outraged by the treatment of a rape victim by the police as reported in yesterday’s Sunday Express.

The 23-year-old woman was raped for five hours by Joel Balcon, aka Devon Charles, and her attempt to make a report at the Arima Police Station was dismissed by the officer on duty.

Balcon, who had as many as 70 charges against him, including rape and kidnapping, died in police custody on February 8 while under interrogation by police for the kidnapping of Andrea Bharatt.

Up to last night there were over 10,000 shares of the story on social media, the same number of individuals speaking on the topic which angered many.

One individual said she could not read the entire thing as it was emotionally painful to do so. “I can’t help but wonder, had the police taken her seriously, would Andrea be alive today?”

Another said the officer or officers should be removed from the police service and also face jail time for neglecting the young lady.

Nearly all the comments posted under the Express article on Facebook called for the officer to be fired as a rapist was allowed to walk the streets and harm another female.

Several individuals expressed relief that the woman was not another statistic and was able to tell the tale.

Another commentator said: “What I would say, only when this happen to one of the minister’s family then they would wake up. They are all a waste of time, but God don’t sleep that is why I am so scared to come back to my birth place it is sad.”

A woman wondered how many women encountered Balcon before he took Andrea’s life, noting this incident took place in the same month.

“What if she was treated differently and taken seriously when she went to make the report? The things some people have to go through and there are still some who will defend this wicked, evil man,” she said.

A few others stated that anytime any police officer refuses to take a report from them they are leaving and coming back with a lawyer.

Another individual urged the rape victim to file a complaint against the police officer/officers who ignored her and demand that they be fired.

One person also highlighted that because of the dismissive and lazy actions by many other police officers, illegal items are ending up on T&T shores.

A man called for the Express to interview Balcon’s family and friends to hear what they have to say about the numerous charges and allegations against him.

Others who commented said the story was heartbreaking but they were happy she was able to walk free.

The ordeal

The mother of one said she was abducted around 10 p.m. on January 8 when she took a taxi on the Brazil stand in San Rafael. Balcon entered the taxi after she did and sat in the back seat.

She was taken to a guest house in Petit Bourg, where Balcon raped her repeatedly. She was released on the morning of January 9 when she was taken by her mother to the Arima Police Station to make a report.

She found out Balcon’s name after being shown his picture by a relative on January 31.

The picture was circula­ting on Facebook of a suspect held in connection with the kidnapping of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt.

“Aye, you saw the picture of the man suspected to have kidnapped Andrea (Bharatt)? Look! It here all over Facebook,” the relative said.

Glancing at the picture, she started crying and shaking violently.

“I said, Oh my God!, this is the same person who kidnapped, tortured and raped me for hours. This is the man I described to police. The same police who shrugged and dismissed me. This is the man,” she told the Sunday Express in an interview last week.

She recalled that her mo­ther, who was nearby at the time, asked if she was sure.

“I spent the entire time while he was raping me and (falling) asleep looking at his features; he even has a scar behind his neck. Yes, that is the man,” she said.

—Andrea

Perez-Sobers

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