Haiti – FLASH : Amazing release of a Haitian Pastor accused of rape
The Office of Citizen Protection (OPC) was shocked to learn that on the second day of the Criminal Assizes without jury assistanxe held in the Jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Jérémie, that the Judge of the Criminal Court, Jean Baptiste Louis Jean ordered, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the immediate release of Pastor Petit, accused of rape on a minor aged 14 years in the locality of Grand Vincent, Communal Section of Roseaux.
The OPC wishes to recall that Pastor Petit had already been arrested, on December 19, 2017, for sexual abuse on the person of a girl named Ernesie Dimanche, then released on December 29, 2017, without any form of prosecution.
Noting the lightness with which the rape cases are handled, the OPC had recommended to the judicial authorities to institute further proceedings against the pastor after confirming that the victim had become pregnant. Following up on this step, the justice system proceeded a second time to the arrest of the Pastor in April 2018. After being regularly seized, the investigating Judge Magistrate Rosny Saint-Louis ordered a DNA test immediately after the delivery of the girl, whose conclusions confirmed that the pastor was indeed the father of the child. Before this evidence, the Judge Instructor issued his order and sent the accused back to the Criminal Court to be tried in accordance with the law.
“However, despite the irrefutable evidence in the file, including the certificates confirming the rape, the confirmation of the DNA test and the act of commitment duly signed by the interested party and authenticated by a notary, Jean Baptiste J. Louis Jean decided to override these evidenced by ordering the immediate release of the accused,” laments the OPC.
Renan Hedouville, the Protector of the Citizen reiterates that “such practices only further tarnish the image of justice and reinforce the phenomenon of impunity.”
Faced with such a situation and with regard to the allegations of a major corruption operation in this case, the Office of Citizen Protection (OPC) urges the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ) and the Ministry of Justice Justice and Public Security (MJSP) to conduct an investigation to determine the reasons for the release of Pastor Onold Petit.