Crime Headline — 16 December 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Sexual misbehavior in office by cop gets him 2 months in jail

BELIZE CITY–An interdicted police constable who was facing charges of harm and aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a woman police constable was sentenced to two months in prison this afternoon when he was convicted in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

“No credible evidence has been put forward that PC Randolph Scott caused harm to WPC Ruby Martinez,” Smith said as she acquitted him of the harm charge.

Scott, however, was found guilty of the aggravated assault of an indecent nature charge, and in imposing the custodial sentence, Smith remarked, “I do believe that a message has to be sent to police officers at police stations that their ‘hanky-panky’ behavior must stop.”

Under the amendment to the law, aggravated assault of an indecent nature carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

Attorney Hubert Elrington, who represented Scott, urged the court, in mitigation, to be lenient to his client whose “service in the police force has been exemplary.”

“The context in which the offense occurred is in the context where men and women have built a close relationship over a period of time, and which culminated in him going too far. His evidence is that as soon as he heard her saying ‘no, no’, he just stopped whatever he was doing,” Elrington said.

The incident occurred at the Police Precinct 4 in Belama on October 26, 2013.

In the evidence presented at the trial, WPC Martinez narrated how she was on duty at the station and Scott touched her inappropriately.

Scott ran his hands under her clothing and caressed her breasts and held her down, gyrating against her as if he was having sex with her, Martinez said. This was witnessed by another police constable, Manuel Mai, to whom Scott said, “You are next when I finish.”

Martinez resisted and tried to defend herself, and that was when Scott allegedly punched her in her face, causing her lower lip to swell.

Mai, the Chief Magistrate said before she sentenced Scott, was an important, independent witness for the prosecution’s case.

Mai testified that he saw when Scott put his hand on Martinez’s leg. He also testified that he heard when Martinez told Scott, “No, no”.

In her closing address to the court, Donille Hawke, who heads the Police Prosecution Branch, said that the testimony of the virtual complainant was corroborated by PC Mai.

“The defendant also unzipped his pants and exposed himself to her. He put her leg up in the air and began to move as if he was having sex with her. The virtual complainant testified that she was in tears, as she felt violated and at no time did she give Scott permission to touch her,” Hawke submitted.

In his defense arguments, Elrington submitted that the behavior between the two, Scott and Martinez, was a regular occurrence.

“These two people were in the habit of playing around, hugging each other and touching each other. This is what they did whenever they were at the station,” Elrington told the court.

“This was their normal behavior, so it did not incite any reaction to the other police officers that were there,” he said.

“Running jokes is one thing, but when Martinez said no, that is when Scott should have stopped,” the Chief Magistrate said “The inappropriate behavior at police stations has to stop,” she continued.

Randolph Scott has served 10 years and 5 months in the Belize Police Department. WPC Martinez has been in the force for about two years.

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