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Bert Vasquez guilty of abduction and sexual assault Print E-mail
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Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

The sensational forcible abduction, sexual assault, and harm case against Bert Vasquez, 32, that involved a 16- year-old minor in May 2011 is coming to an end. Vasquez was accused of abducting the minor from Pound Yard bridge and taking her into his vehicle where he drove her to an area in Vista Del Mar, Ladyville. She was sexually assaulted then hit with a flashlight before she was released to run for her life.

A jury of 9 persons deliberated the fate of Vasquez on July 10, 2017 after the DPP’s Sherine Rodriguez presented the evidence against him. On instruction from Judge Adolph Lucas, the jurors only deliberated on two charges against him, forcible abduction and sexual assault.

In trial, Vasquez was represented by Oscar Selgado. The victim, now 22-years-old, took the stand to give her account of the night, May 13, 2011. She testified that she was taken into a vehicle which was being driven by Vasquez. After being taken to Vista Del Mar, she was choked and undressed. She claims to have told him that she is HIV/AIDS positive and he told her that she was of no use to him and that he would kill her. He then forced her to perform oral sex on him. They got into a struggle where she scratched him in the face. Vasquez then hit her with a flashlight and told her to run. She made her way to a woman’s house where she got help.

From the dock, Vasquez claimed that he was elsewhere that night. He called his mother who said that she was with her son on the night of the incident. Vasquez’s attorney asked the jurors to not believe the victim’s testimony. One reason is that she claimed to have been abducted near the Pound Yard but that area is usually busy and she would have been seen by bystanders. Also according to Selgado, the description the victim gave does not match the physical attributes of his client.

Bert Vasquez has been no stranger to the law. He was previously charged for the murder of Jasmine Lowe on June 22, 2013. Lowe had gone missing on Monday June 4, 2013 as she was going to her mother’s beauty salon located on the Bullet Tree Road in Cayo. Her Body was found on Wednesday, June 6 at a mile and a half on the Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. When police took Vasquez into custody, scenes of crimes technicians processed the vehicle and came up with a ring and hair inside the vehicle.

Previously, on February 14th, 2011, Vasquez was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 20-year-old woman of Northern Belize. The woman claimed that on January 25, 2011, she was walking home on Freetown Road when she met Vasquez, who offered her a ride home. She said she accepted the ride. He then drove to Belama under the pretense that he had to pick up a cousin. Instead, he drove up to Belama Phase IV and there she claimed he told her he wanted her and that either she cooperated with him or he would take her by force. That’s when the woman claimed he pulled out a pocket knife and held it to the side of her head and took off her jacket and brassier and began to kiss her. He then tried to remove her pants but she resisted. He did not stop until vehicles began coming to the area where they were. He then drove her up the highway to Mile 12, where he made attempts to assault her again but that’s when someone from a nearby house began to flash a light into the vehicle and he decided to take her home. For that incident, Vasquez was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, aggravated assault with a pocket knife and, unlawful imprisonment and he was denied bail. On March 11th, he was granted Supreme Court bail of $10,000, which he met.

After much deliberation on the most recent court case, Vasquez was found guilty of the charges of forcible abduction and sexual assault.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:38