Cops freed of rape charge
The three policemen who were accused of gang-raping a prostitute along the Port Henderson Road in Portmore, St Catherine, have been freed of the rape charge. Constables Michael Beckford, Everton Barrett, and Ajoni Willoughby were freed when the Crown offered no evidence against them.
Justice Lennox Campbell directed the seven-member jury in the St Catherine Circuit Court to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
The policemen were arrested and charged following a report by the woman that in July 2010, they raped her.
The complainant did not report the incident until three months after the incident.
It was reported that the policemen tried to remove her from the popular 'back road' area, but she declined to go with them.
The woman reported that she was not going with them because she had been raped by three policemen three months before.
The complainant reported that she had written down the licence plate number of the police vehicle and the identification number of one of the policemen.
The matter was reported to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences & Child Abuse. The three policemen were pointed out at an identification parade and they were subsequently arrested and charged.
Defence lawyers Peter Champagnie, Christopher Townsend, and Tonile Beecher had complained to the court in early July about the delay in having the case tried.
They pointed out that it was unfair to the policemen that despite six trial dates, the complainant had never attended court.
The judge then directed that efforts be made through the Office of the Commissioner of Police to locate the complainant.
When the case was mentioned yesterday, the prosecutor informed the court that the complainant could not be found.
The prosecution then offered no evidence against the policemen.