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Businessman Emile Elias

Businessman Emile Elias is currently on $100,000 bail after being slapped with two sexual charges against a 17-year-old girl on Wednesday night.

According to a release from the T&T Police Service yesterday, Elias, 84, was granted bail by a Justice of Peace after he appeared on two sexual charges.

The release said Elias, who resides in Fairways, Maraval, was charged on Wednesday (March 10) with one count of sexual penetration and one count of sexual grooming by officers of the Western Division Child Protection Unit (CPU).

The charges stemmed from an alleged incident in November 2019 in which a 17-year-old girl reported to police that she was sexually assaulted by a man in St James.

Investigators discovered that the girl may have allegedly been groomed during the period September-November 2019 before the assault allegedly occurred.

Enquiries into this case were headed by acting W/Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne and included officers of the Western CPU, including Sgt James, WPCs Beckles, Samuel, Kerr and PCs Noel and Burton. Assistance was also given by Snr Supt Oswain Subero of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), Maraval Police Station and the Port-of-Spain CPU.

According to the Children’s Authority of T&T, sexual grooming occurs when an adult befriends a child by building a close relationship in order to gain the child’s trust, with the intention of later engaging the child in sexual activity.

According to the Children Act, 2012, a person who commits such an offence is liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for 10 years or on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $100,000 and to imprisonment for 20 years.

Public relations consultant of All Media Projects Limited, Alfred Aguiton, issued a statement on behalf of Elias yesterday evening.

The statement said, “In keeping with an official brief which our agency has received, we note the widespread media publication of a current legal matter involving Mr Emile Elias.

“Mr Elias completely refutes in the strongest possible terms the allegations made against him. He looks forward to establishing his innocence under the due process of law. Given the fact that the matter is now before the courts and therefore sub judice, Mr Elias is unable to make any further comments.”