80.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022


A Hospital Ground man, incarcerated on gun-possession charges, was formally charged Friday with one count of second-degree rape.
Police detective Corrine Daniel testified during an advice-of-rights hearing that Mao Penha had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl who is now six weeks pregnant.
Daniel told the hearing that Penha was involved in a relationship with the girl for the past five months. The alleged sexual encounter occurred in November.
Penha is a 26-year-old resident of Bergs Home 2, Apt. A-8. He was incarcerated at the Bureau of Corrections on unrelated cases when police investigators arrested him on the rape charge at 11 a.m. Thursday. Daniel testified that Penha declined to provide police with a statement of the incident.
Judge Ishmael Meyers rejected assertions by Territorial Public Defender Brenda Scales that the government brought the case prematurely.
Scales argued that the government has presented no corroborating evidence to support probable cause for the arrest of Penha. "With no physical evidence, it's her word against the defendant's," Scales added.
But Meyers responded, "Unless it was the immaculate conception, the young lady had sexual intercourse with someone, a person she says was Mao Penha."
The judge said he found probable cause to charge Penha with second-degree rape. "I don't see what other evidence you would need at this juncture to proceed. A minor girl is six weeks pregnant," Meyers told Scales.
The judge also frowned at Scales' request that Penha be allowed to post 10 percent of the $75,000 bail set at the time of arrest. Meyers recalled that Penha has two other cases pending before the court. Both involve firearms.
"I can't look at this case in a vacuum," he told the public defender. "I have to consider your request in totality."
Penha will be arraigned on the rape and unlawful sexual contact charges at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.




Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Error: Server configuration issue