Belize police officer charged with raping detained woman, denied bail

BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) – The Belize Police Commissioner has appealed the bail of a police officer accused of raping a woman while she was being detained at a police station last Friday.

“Yes, I objected to bail because we believe the law requires the officer to remain in jail until the case is heard,” Police Commissioner Chester Williams told reporters after the officer appeared in court on Monday.

The 45-year-old police officer is said to have offered to release the woman without charge in exchange for sex.

He reportedly took the woman out of the cell and took her to another area of ​​the station, where he allegedly had sexual intercourse with her.

The Belize Police Department (BPD) said criminal and internal investigations were ongoing and the police commissioner had condemned the officer’s actions.

“The ongoing internal investigation is designed to determine whether there was a failure of supervision or a dereliction of duty that may have enabled this egregious act. The BPD is committed to transparency and accountability and ensuring justice is served and the public’s trust is maintained,” police said in a statement.

Williams, who is also a lawyer, appeared in the lower courts during the officer’s arraignment and objected to his bail.

He told reporters afterward that his appearance in court in a relatively straightforward criminal case was intended to demonstrate the importance of the case.

“As I have said before, we have done our best to get rid of these rogue officers who continually do things that embarrass the department. My presence here is a strong signal that we are doing everything we can to ensure that individuals harmed by the actions of the police receive justice,” said Police Commissioner Williams.

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

He said the officer in question must be aware that there are cameras in the cell block area, adding: “Every officer who works in that cell block area knows that there are cameras there.”

The police chief said that although the camera “did not record the act itself, it recorded him taking her out of the cell and taking her to the place where the alleged rape took place.”

Williams said the officer was just the cell guard. His job there was to make sure the prisoners were OK.”