Belize Police officer accused of raping female detainee denied bail

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

CMC-Belize’s Police Commissioner Chester Williams has objected to bail for a police officer, accused of raping a female detainee at a police station last Friday. 

“Yes, I came to object to bail because we believe that the act is such that the police officer needs to remain in prison until the matter is heard,” Williams told reporters after the officer appeared in court on Monday. 

The 45-year-old police officer is reported to have offered to release the woman without charge in exchange for sex. Reports said that he removed the woman from the holding cell and escorted her to another area of the station where he allegedly had intercourse with her. 

The Belize Police Department (BPD) said criminal and internal investigations are underway and the Commissioner of Police has condemned Marin’s actions. 

“The ongoing internal investigation aims to determine whether there was any lapse in supervision or neglect of duty that may have allowed this egregious act to occur.  The BPD is dedicated to transparency and accountability, ensuring that justice is served and public trust is maintained,” the police said in a statement. 

Williams, who is also an attorney, appeared before the lower courts during Marin’s arraignment where he objected to bail. 

He told reporters afterwards that his appearance in court for a fairly mundane straightforward prosecution, was to show the importance of the case. 

“Like I said before, we have been doing our best to ensure that we rid ourselves of those rogue officers who constantly do things that embarrass the department.  My presence here is a strong statement that we are doing what we can to ensure that persons who are aggrieved by the actions of police that they get justice. 

“The person who is the victim was a prisoner in police custody.  The investigation revealed that the police officer solicited sex from her in exchange for her release.  He subsequently took her outside of her cell block where the act took place.  We have secured several statements, as well as video footages that support her allegation,” Williams added. 

Williams said that the police officer in question had to be aware that there are cameras within the cell block area, adding “every police officer who works at that cellblock area knows that cameras are there. 

The Police Commissioner said that while the “camera would not have captured the act itself, it “did pick up when he took her out of the cell and took her to the area where the alleged rape took place”. 

Williams said that the police officer was “just the cellblock keeper, his duty there was just to ensure that the prisoners are okay. 

“If they needed water or anything of that sort, he provided for them, but when it comes to dealing with female prisoners, if any female prisoner needed to have been taken out of the cell, that should not have been his responsibility. That should have been done by a woman police officer. 

“So his action in removing her from the cellblock was wrong and more so, he said that she told him she wanted a cigarette.  He even went and got a cigarette for her, and the reason, according to him why she was taken from the cellblock, was to go and smoke a cigarette which, again, is utterly wrong. 

“So we have seen a number of breakdowns in terms of our internal policies that will be addressed likewise. There was another female prisoner in the cellblock and yes, she saw what took place and she did have some concerns and whenever the shift changed and the other officers came on, she was the one who reported first to the police,” he added. 

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