Men must not be allowed to get away with the sexual abuse of young girls

Stabroek News

May 25, 2004

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Dear Editor,

I was amazed to read your report on Thursday, May 6, dealing with the "businessman" who reportedly virtually abducted and sexually abused a 13-year-old girl - a minor.

Having absorbed and been morally assaulted and totally disgusted by the reported details in this story and the apparent lack of protection by the relevant powers-that-be for this distressed mother and her misguided offspring, I wondered why this "prominent businessman" was not initially named.

I was also amazed that for more than one (1) month of several attempts (seemingly in vain) by this distraught mother (who my heart went out to), nothing concrete had been done to protect her and her child from this "prominent businessman."

I therefore ask the following questions:

1. Is this man so "big" or does he have such "huge" connections that he can get away with this apparently flagrant abuse?

2. What kind of creature is he that a 13-year-old "child" could be his (reported) lover?

3. What recourse does a mother have to really have help with a traumatising matter like this even if the child has, in her childish innocence, succumbed to waywardness?

A second SN story finally reveals the "prominent businessman's" name as Reaz Khan. It is interesting that the other papers did not carry the story at all.

The revelation of this matter brings to mind previous stories about this man.

One, when it was reported that Customs seized his containers for some violation and he was able to overcome that.

Another, was when the City Council ordered him to correct a fault in the alleged illegal construction of his building; and as far as can be recalled, he did nothing and his building is still standing as is and his business intact.

It also brings to mind numerous rumours of other "stories" involving this "gentleman" and also the other rumours as to who he is related to, among the powers-that-be.

Will these "connections" once again protect him and allow him to get away with what is, in the opinion of many women, his worst crime ever.

Let us see if justice will indeed be done for this mother and her child (who, incidentally, will obviously need proper counselling).

Before closing I would like to urge our law-makers to seriously rethink the laws related to the age of consent (as revealed in Sunday Stabroek May 23, 2004).

East Indians in Guyana (to the best of our knowledge) no longer resort to "marrying off" their girls at a tender age.

We need to protect our young; since, regardless of what that child and others like her may think, she (or he) is still a child in many ways; and the physiological and psychological damage that is done to their psyche by such deeds, as this one, could be everlasting, or could surface, devastatingly, only after a considerable period of time; and sometimes long after their under-developed brains take stock of a situation like the present.

Big men must not be allowed to take such advantage of our young girls and boys, with impunity.

Anyone who so abuses a child deserves to feel the full brunt of the law.

In fact, I think the laws related to rape generally need to be reviewed and the penalties severely increased. There also needs to be more serious attempts to prevent the victim from being treated like a criminal; and also to ensure that the sleaze-bags who commit this despicable crime receive the suitable punishment.

Yours faithfully,

P. Alexander