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8 cops locked up

By NEWSDAY STAFF Saturday, July 5 2014

EIGHT police officers from the Southern Division were last night behind bars and are expected to be placed on Identification Parades next week in connection with two unrelated incidents one of which includes sexual assault of a minor.

Seven of the officers were arrested by detectives from the Police Service’s Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) on Wednesday, in connection with an incident in which they are alleged to have set fire to a teenager at the Princes Town Police Station last December.

The seven were expected to be placed on identification parades yesterday morning at the Barataria Police Station but this was postponed and they were taken to a police station in Port-of-Spain.

The victim, 18-year-old Jamerson John filed a report in which he claimed he was stripped to his underpants and doused with methylated spirit (rubbing alcohol) and set on fire while at the Princes Town Police Station where he was detained on Christmas Eve for a housebreaking and larceny incident in Moruga. John has steadfastly denied involvement in any criminal activity.

He suffered burns to his hip, legs and genital area and had to seek medical treatment.

John and his attorney Petronilla Basdeo were told to attend the Identification Parades next week.

The Princes Town Police had denied the allegation and claimed John was accidentally burnt when he used methylated spirit to clean a wound.

A report was subsequently made to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and following investigations, a file was forwarded to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC.

Officers of the Professional Standards Bureau received instructions from the DPP to detain the seven officers and have them placed on identification parades.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old police constable also from the Southern Division was arrested yesterday and remains in police custody at a police station in the South Western Division in connection with sexual assault of a minor.

The child complained to her parents that the officer lured her away and later had sex with her before releasing her. She was medically examined by a district medical officer who confirmed to investigators that she had been sexually assaulted. Police are awaiting further instructions from the DPP on how to pursue their investigation against the officer.

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