Highly regarded physician and Dad, the Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been arrested and charged on six counts of sexually molesting his two adopted daughters.
At 1:00 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon this week PUP parliamentarian and paediatrician Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk Town, and heard about six charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature brought against by his two girls, adopted from infancy by him and his wife, Lesly.
The formal arraignment took place inside the Orange Walk Police Station before Magistrate Merlene Moody.
Mendez, who is the elected Area Representative for Orange Walk East, was afforded the courtesy of handing himself in to the Police, accompanied by family members and attorneys Dickie Bradley and Andrew Bennett.
The charges, the first of their kind to be levied against a sitting Member of the House, come after more than a week of allegations. He is accused of inappropriately touching his two adopted girls on separate occasions, in incidents which go back to 2005.
Reports of those alleged accusations surfaced early last week, and grew to official proportions after Mendez’s wife, also a doctor, visited the Human Development Department in Orange Walk in the company of her two teenage daughters to make an official complaint.
The courtroom today was closed to the media, and when Mendez emerged two hours later he was shielded by police personnel and whisked off in a car by family and friends.
Magistrate Merlene Moody granted bail in the sum of $5,000 and ordered Mendez to report back to court on April 13, 2015.
Following his arraignment, the People’s United Party issued a release stating : “The Party Leader, in accordance with the power vested in him by the National Executive, he has with immediate effect, removed Hon. Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and has suspended him indefinitely from all other party related duties, responsibilities, and activities.”
While Mendez retains his Orange Walk East seat until he decides to resign that post or until elections are called, he has already stepped down within the Party, citing medical reasons.
The release from the PUP concludes by stating that “our thoughts and prayers are with the alleged victims and with our colleague and friend, Doctor Mendez and his family.”
Last week Dr. Mendez’s estranged wife Lesly spoke out in an exclusive interview to one media house, without offering details of the alleged offences. She said the allegations are not politically motivated, and at this time her family needs support and help, not criticism. Lesly Mendez, who is separated from her husband said she left her husband one year ago because of the incidents with the girls.
Dr.Marco Tulio Mendez also offered brief comments to one media house, but would not speak about the charges laid against him.
While there have been charges brought against parliamentarians from both sides in the past, this is the first time that formal charges have been brought against any member of the House for assault on minors.
The girls, who are today seventeen and eighteen years old, have not appeared in public, and the media has been restrained and considerate in not trying to get photographs or interviews.