Former JCF member now US military officer granted bail in rape case

ST MARY, Jamaica— Thirty-one-year-old Garnette Maragh, of a St Mary address, was offered bail on Wednesday in regards to charges of abduction and rape, when he made his appearance in the Port Maria Parish Court.

Allegations are that on March 5, 2018, the complainant, a 15-year-old student was offered a ride home by Maragh and he used the opportunity to drive off route and rape her in his car.

It is alleged that immediately after the incident, Maragh, who was a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) at the time, was stopped by the police during a routine spot check on the road but the complainant did not make an alarm to them as according to her, it appeared that Maragh was an associate or friend of theirs.

A report was subsequently made to the police station. Maragh was detained as a result and placed on an identification parade where the complainant failed to point him out and as a consequence, he was released.

A year later Maragh resigned from the JCF and migrated to the United States where he was successful in being drafted in the US army.

Following this, almost a year later, DNA evidence emerged that suggested that Maragh did have sexual contact with the complainant.

Maragh, following an Interpol notice, was returned to Jamaica earlier this month. However in applying for bail, his lawyer, Peter Champagnie, brought to Court’s attention documentary evidence that as soon as his client got word that he was wanted by the local authorities, he himself contacted the police and brought the matter to the attention of his US Commanding Officer.

Champagnie brought to the Court's attention the inordinate delay of the DNA results and raised questions concerning the integrity of the results. Champagnie also noted that along the way his client had given his full cooperation.

Bail was offered in the amount of J$400,000 with strict conditions of reporting and travel restrictions.

Maragh is to return to Court on November 30, 2022.

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