Three men accused of holding four Venezuelan women captive and of sexually assaulting two of them have been each granted $350,000 bail.
Virgil Pompey, of Wilson Road, Diego Martin, Matthew John, a car wash attendant from Upper Bournes Road, St James and Johan Norgiff, of Union Road, off Morne Coco Road in Diego Martin, were denied bail when they first appeared before Magistrate Rehanna Hosein in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court, last week.
The trio spent the Easter long weekend on remand as their criminal record tracing was not available for their first court appearance.
When they returned to court on Tuesday, Hosein was informed that both Pompey and Norgiff had no prior convictions or pending charges, while John has pending cases for traffic offences and obscene language.
As part of the conditions of their bail, the three men were ordered to refrain from contacting the victims and to report to their nearest police station, twice weekly, for the duration of the case.
Hosein also granted each accused a cash alternative of $100,000 to secure their bail.
The option meant that the men could secure their bail by either using a deed valued more than $350,000 or handing over the cash alternative to the court to be held in escrow for the duration of the case.
“The money, in the account, that the cheque is drawn on, must be deposited for at least six months,” Hosein stated.
According to reports, police began investigating the case on April 12 after the women’s friends reported them missing after they failed to return from a mission to view apartments for rent in west Trinidad.
Within hours of receiving the report, police raided Norgiff’s family home at Union Road, Diego Martin, and rescued the women. Pompey and John were arrested on the scene, while Norgiff surrendered the following day.
The trio is charged with falsely imprisoning the four women and with raping two of them.
While addressing the court last week, attorney Keith Scotland, who is representing Pompey and Norgiff, criticised the media coverage of the case as he questioned reports that the men allegedly impersonated police officers to commit the crimes.
Scotland claimed that the property’s blue and white motif and numerous Stars of David symbols, synonymous with the T&T Police Service (TTPS), were chosen by Norgiff’s deceased grandmother, who owned the property.
Pompey and Norgiff are also being represented by Asha Watkins-Montserin and Adaphia Trancoso. Alexia Romero and Dana-Marie Salina are representing John.