Maldives Police Service, on Saturday, released the identity of the man suspected of raping an 11-year-old girl in a guesthouse in Male’ City.
Anees Hilmy, 38, from Silsilaage in H. A. Baarah is accused of taking an 11-year-old girl to a guesthouse in Male’ City and raping her.
The rape was reported to the police on Wednesday afternoon, and Anees was arrested from his residence in connection to the case at approximately 10:13 pm on Friday.
At his remand hearing this Saturday, the Criminal Court issued an order for him to be remanded into the custody of police for seven days.
Investigators have found evidence Anees had groomed his 11-year-old victim prior to the rape.
Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed has requested Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem to file a motion with the court to hold the suspect in jail pending the outcome of his trial.
He made the request under Article 30 of Special Provisions Act to Deal with Child Sex Offenders, which establishes that the Commissioner of Police may request the Prosecutor General to submit to court to obtain an order to detain a person under suspicion of committing an offence prescribed under the Act into custody during investigation and trial stages, where the police feel the need to invoke the special procedures set out under the Act.
It marks the first time for such a request to be made in five years.
Shameem told Sun that his office had asked the court for the suspect to be jailed pending the outcome of his trial, but was denied the request because they had lacked some necessary documents.
He said his office will secure the necessary documents and request the suspect be jailed pending the outcome of trial when they ask for an extension to his detention.
The police, in its statement on Saturday, reaffirmed the agency’s commitment towards taking action against people who commit sexual offenses against children, people who blackmail and rape children, and people who groom children and force them to commit criminal acts to the full extent of the law.
The case is under investigation by the Family and Child Protection Department as a high-priority case, and the department is working with other relevant State agencies to provide the victim with support and protection.
It marks the second rape of a child to take place in a guesthouse in Male’. The previous rape case had taken place in late May, and involved a girl of the age of 16 years who was also raped in a guesthouse in Male’ City, after she was blackmailed and coerced.
A 24-year-old Maldivian male has been arrested in connection to the case.
The police have advised the public to pay special attention towards ascertaining the safety and protection of children.
The public have also been advised to report offenses against children, even if it is a suspicion, to the Family and Child Protection Department at 3000600 or to the Gender Ministry’s hotline 1412.