Estate Calquohoun man, 19, charged in rape of 14-year-old runaway
Published: September 5, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Police have arrested a 19-year-old man on rape and related charges, stemming from a report made to police in July.
Joannes Francois of Estate Calquohoun made his initial court appearance Monday morning in V.I. Magistrate Court to be advised of his rights on charges of second-degree aggravated rape and unlawful sexual contact.
According to police records filed in V.I. Superior Court, the 14-year-old girl told police that she got into an argument with other residents at her home at the V.I. Behavioral Services Group home and made a decision to run away.
She removed the screen and squeezed through the window to sneak out of the house shortly after midnight July 12 and went walking down the road, according to court documents.
The girl told police that she called a family member who told her to return to the home, but instead she called Francois, with whom she had been having phone conversations for several weeks, and he came and picked her up.
She said he drove to the Salt River Beach area, where she said he told her to remove her clothes, and he had sexual intercourse with her inside his truck, according to the police report.
The girl told police that she was afraid but did not resist Francois' advances because she did not want him to hurt her.
Under local law, no one younger than 18 can consent to having sexual intercourse.
She said Francois told her to go into the sea and wash off, and when she returned to the car, he drove her to the Castle Coakley area, where he dropped her off and she began walking.
A Juvenile Investigation Detective was driving in the area and saw the girl walking on the road and picked her up and returned her to the home, according to the police report. She had not been reported as a missing or runaway teen, according to police.
The group home that is contracted through the V.I. Human Services Department had a series of incidents involving runaway minors in recent months. Human Services Commissioner Christopher Finch has launched talks with the company that operates the home to work on addressing some of the issues at the campus, which is not gated or a detention facility, according to Human Services spokeswoman Monife Stout.
At his advice-of-rights hearing Monday, Francois was released to a third-party custodian after the posting of 10 percent the $50,000 bail amount in cash or twice the amount of bail in property.
His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 19.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.