BELIZE CITY, Fri.Sept. 25, 2015–Kenrick Alston Bowman, a Belizean/American who is a registered sex offender in the United States, walked calmly beside his police escort from the court’s holding cell and took his place in the courtroom of Magistrate Ladonna John this morning.
The forty-two-yearold Bowman, who has been in police custody since Wednesday, has been making national headlines on allegations that he has been sexually active with a number of young boys at his Police Street address.
Police’s investigation of the alleged pedophile, however, has so far only resulted in a little-used charge of “engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child.”
Bowman, who was unrepresented by an attorney, pleaded not guilty to the charge, which dates back to sometime in January, 2015.
Court prosecutor Corporal Christopher Smith objected to granting him bail on several grounds. Smith’s first objection was on the ground that Bowman is under an ongoing police investigation and more charges are likely to follow.
“If granted bail, the prosecution is of the view that the defendant may interfere with prosecution witnesses or potential prosecution witnesses,” Smith told the court.
Smith also objected on the grounds that remanding Bowman would be for his own protection, since the allegations against him have gotten national coverage, and if granted bail, persons in the public may interfere with or cause harm to Bowman.
“In effect, we are asking that he be kept remanded for his own safety,” Smith submitted.
Lastly, Smith told the court that bail should be denied in the public’s interest, because the allegation against Bowman involves a minor child.
Magistrate Ladonna John, after explaining to Bowman that the prosecution was objecting to the granting of bail to him, asked him if he was in fear for his life.
Bowman told the court, “I am comfortable in the area where I live. I prefer to stay in Caesar Ridge and take care of my dad. He is 73 years old. I am not going back to the area where this happened.”
Bowman said he is the sole caretaker for his father. “Everybody else is in the U.S.,” he told the court. Bowman explained that when he was arrested, he did not have time to secure his house, and as a consequence, all his valuables were stolen.
“I am very comfortable where I am living. I have no fear of nobody where I live. I do believe that my life would be more at risk if I am incarcerated,” he said.
At that point in the arraignment, Magistrate John asked the representatives of the media who were present to leave the courtroom, because she wanted to get some personal information from Bowman.
After a few minutes, reporters were allowed back in the courtroom and Magistrate John announced that bail had been granted to Bowman.
Bowman was offered bail of $3,000 plus two sureties in the same amount. A condition of his bail is that he must report to the Racoon Street Police Precinct every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between, the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
In addition, he is not to leave the country without the permission of the court and he must not come within 200 yards of the virtual complainant, a minor who is 15 years old.
Bowman is to return to court on November 25.
For most of the week, police were under intense pressure to arrest and charge Bowman after a neighbor of Bowman called police when he found a boy crying against Bowman’s fence. The boy told the neighbor that he wanted to go home, but Bowman would not allow him, and that he (Bowman) had performed oral sex on him and given him the two packs of noodles that he was holding in his hand.
Bowman was briefly taken into police custody and released that same night, but following pressure from the media in the following days, police arrested him.