Television personality and Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne was last night arrested outside the Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, offices of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN). The T&T Guardian understands that Alleyne’s arrest stemmed from broadcasts on his show on October 25 and 26 last year, during which the brutal rape of a 13-year-old mentally-disabled girl was allegedly aired. Senior police sources revealed that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard was contacted by investigators late Wednesday evening for advice on possible criminal prosecution against Alleyne. Up to late yesterday, it could not be confirmed if charges were laid against Alleyne, but the Guardian understands that Gaspard advised that three charges under Section 32 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act be laid.
The legislation states: “A person who publishes or broadcasts any matter contrary to subsection 1 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years.” The Guardian was reliably informed that investigators are considering laying similar charges on a senior member of staff at CCN in relation to the same broadcasts. Shortly before 7 pm yesterday, a five-member team of officers assigned to the Port-of-Spain Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and led by ASP Ajith Persad, approached security at the back gate of the Express House offices of CCN. Within minutes of the police’s arrival, Alleyne who was on air at the time, informed viewers of the police presence and intention to arrest him. Scores of boisterous fans blocked the gates of the compound while screaming out the controversial television personality’s name.
Senior management at CCN soon entered the company’s car park to catch a glimpse of the noisy crowd. Alleyne’s attorneys Om Lalla and Derrick Balliram arrived soon after and were seen entering the building. Even as it began to rain heavily, Alleyne’s supporters stood outside the gates chanting his name. After a short press conference, ASP Persad and Cpl Andre Lopez entered the compound and attempted to detain a resistant Alleyne. He continuously pleaded with the officers to not arrest him while asking the reasons for their actions. The officers then had a short conversation with Alleyne and his attorneys before handcuffs were placed on his wrists, and he was led away to an awaiting police car. Alleyne was taken to Central Police Station on St Vincent Street where he remained with his lawyers up to late last night, senior police sources said. He is expected to appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate this morning to face the charges.