Taxi driver found guilty of brutally beating, raping woman

A taxi driver who was charged last year with raping and brutally assaulting a woman was on Friday found guilty of the offences by a 12-member jury, following a trial before Demerara Sexual Offences Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The man, 37-year-old Thurston Semple, was convicted of raping the woman between February 24, 2021, and February 25, 2021, at Georgetown. He was also convicted of assaulting the woman so as to cause her actual bodily harm.

The convict was represented by Attorney-at-Law Everton Singh-Lammy while State Counsel Nafeeza Baig and State Counsel Muntaz Ali appeared for the prosecution.

Sentencing for the rapist has been deferred to April 29 following the presentation of a probation report in his favour and a victim impact statement.

This publication understands that Semple is reportedly in the habit of paying women to have sex with him and he usually takes them to his home.

Reports are that on the day in question, the woman was at a location in Georgetown when Semple drove up in his vehicle beside her. He made arrangements with the woman to have sex with him and agreed to pay her $10,000. The two then left in his car for his residence.  Upon arrival there, the woman went into the house and sat on a bed where she smoked a cigarette.

She reportedly then took off her clothes and they began to have sexual intercourse. During the act, the condom broke. As a result, the woman replaced it and told Semple that he only had 15 minutes remaining and that if he does not finish within that time, she would be leaving. Semple replied telling her “okay”.

He then went into the kitchen and returned with a knife. At that time, the woman was getting dressed, and she told him to keep his money. But Semple held the woman at knifepoint while telling her “you’re not going anywhere.”

He then grabbed her by her hair, placed the knife to her neck, removed the condom from his penis, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The woman, after a while, stopped performing the act on Semple who became annoyed and slapped her to her face. She then asked him for some water.

When Semple turned to go into the kitchen, the naked woman grabbed her clothes and jumped through a glass window. However, Semple ran after her and when he caught up with her, he stabbed her about her body with a knife and lashed her several times with a plastic tube that was filled with cement.

The woman then ran away from Semple and jumped a fence after which persons came to her rescue. Police arrived at the scene shortly after and arrested Semple.

The victim was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital for treatment. In his caution statement, Semple told the Police: “Officer, I had sex with her. I paid her for the service and she refused to do what I asked… and I assaulted her in her face with a PVC pipe”.

Meanwhile, back in 2017, Semple was charged for allegedly raping another woman.

It was reported that Semple met the woman at a nightclub and took her to a hotel where he had sex with her against her will. He was later arrested and charged.

Then, in January of 2018, Semple was charged for allegedly tying up two female sex workers on separate occasions and raping them.

The court heard the Semple took the women to his home where he promised to pay them $10,000 each to perform sexual acts on him. When the acts were completed, Semple tied the women’s hands and feet and took them to the location where he met them, dropped them off, and drove off without paying them.

The women reported the matter to the Police station. Semple was later arrested and charged. This publication understands that Semple was committed to stand trial at the Demerara High Court for the offences he committed in 2017 and 2018.

Semple was granted cash bail on all the rape charges.