Sophia man who raped girl with Down Syndrome at knifepoint gets life sentence

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Thirty-six-year-old Rondell Chappel of Section “A” Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown, who had absconded his trial, and had been found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome at knifepoint, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a High Court Judge. 

In late November, Chappel, called ‘Devil’ was arraigned before Demerara Sexual Offences Court Judge Sandil Kissoon on a count of engaging in sexual penetration with a child under the age of 16.  After he pleaded not guilty to the charge, his trial commenced.  

However, sometime after, the convict, who had been admitted to bail, never returned to court. As such, Justice Kissoon conducted the trial in his absence and the jury, after deliberating for several hours on November 23, found Chappel unanimously guilty of the crime.  

At a sentencing hearing on Monday, the trial Judge jailed the convict for life and ordered that he only becomes eligible for parole after serving 20 years. 

According to the prosecution’s facts, between September 5 and 6, 2020, the girl was at home alone, when Chappel broke into her abode through a window and raped her at knifepoint. At the time of the incident, Chappel was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the Judge said. 

The case was prosecuted by three State Counsel, namely, Cicelia Corbin, Caressa Henry, and Marisa Edwards while defence counsel Ravindra Mohabir represented Chappel. 

In the meantime, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has issued a wanted bulletin for the convicted man. Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Chappel is asked to contact the Police on 225-8196, 226-7476, 225-6940, 225-2317, 227-1149 or the nearest Police station.  

All information will be treated with strict confidence.

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