Magistrate Norman Rodriquez charged for rape

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez was charged today for rape before his boss, the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.  Rodriguez is accused of raping a 27 year old woman in early April, when he was on Magistrate’s duties in Dangriga town. It took over three weeks for the charges to be brought against Rodriquez and while the accused told one media house that Rodriquez’s status as a magistrate may have hindered the process, there are other factors that the DPP and police apparently had to consider in proceeding with the charges; the fact that the alleged victim had a prior relationship with the magistrate and the fact that she took five days to report the matter to the police. Magistrate Rodriquez appeared in court today where he was represented by four attorneys: Hubert Ellington, Herbert Panton , Attorney Kathleen Lewis and Michelle Trapp-Zuniga.  Magistrate Rodriguez was read a single charge of rape this morning. No plea was taken from him in the matter and the Prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, had no objection to bail which was in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Rodriquez was first told that he had to surrender his travelling documents to the clerk of court but his attorney argued that Rodriquez was out of the country  when he learned of the allegation and returned to face his charges. The Chief Magistrate then said it was not necessary then for him to surrender his passport, however, she ordered him to not apply for any other travelling documents without the court’s permission.   Magistrate Rodriguez will be provided with disclosure in the alleged rape case against him on August 10, exactly three months from today.  His Preliminary Inquiry is expected to occur on August 24 in Dangriga Town since that is where the rape allegedly occurred.vlcsnap-2017-05-10-21h25m10s407

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