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New Zealander nabbed for rape, trafficking

October 31, 2012 ·  , Arianne Caryl N. Casas and Malu Cadeliña Manar, Saturday, October 27, 2012

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POLICE and social welfare personnel from Kidapawan City arrested in Davao City on Thursday a 50-year-old New Zealand national accused of molesting two teenage girls.

Superintendent Renante Cabico, chief of the Kidapawan City police, identified the suspect as David William Wakefield, 50, assistant manager of Mecs Labor Hiring Company based in Mozambique in South Africa.

Wakefield was accused of molesting the two teenage girls from Kidapawan City, aged 12 and 13, on Monday, reports said.

But a Davao City prosecutor on Friday said they have yet to establish the complaint filed against the suspect.

In a phone interview, Prosecutor Marte Melchor Velasco said the complaint is still under investigation.

He said he has yet to personally meet the foreigner, although the complaint has already verbally reached the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Cabico said they used the victims as guides in locating the suspect in a hotel somewhere in Davao City.

The local police, led by the Women and Children’s Protection Desk, had also coordinated with the Davao City police when they arrested the foreigner.

The suspect, according to Cabico, was about to check out from his hotel for his travel back to South Africa when they raided the place.

The victims told the police that two ladies identified only in their aliases as “Sarah” and “Aiza” who recruited them from the city’s public market brought them to Davao City on Monday.

The girls were promised an amount of P1,500 each, according to them.

But when they arrived at the hotel and introduced them to the foreigner they were told to undress and take a bath.

Of the two girls from Kidapawan City, only the 14-year-old victim was told to stay but both of them were raped, they said.

Along with the two girls were eight other teenagers who came from different areas in Mindanao, Cabico said.

“What made the experiences of the girls more traumatic was that when we had them checked in a hospital in Davao City, both were positive of a sexually-transmitted disease, allegedly coming from the suspect,” Cabico said.

Records showed Wakefield visited the country three times already.

“Actually, the foreigner is already on the watch list,” Cabico said.

Wakefield, citing as basis the statements of the victims, including the nude photos of the teenage girls taken from his mobile phone, is facing multiple counts of statutory rape, and violations of Human Trafficking Act and Anti-Child Abuse Act.

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