By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A POLICEMAN said he can now move on with his life after the Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown’s challenge of his acquittal on two sexual assault charges.
Juan Pratt, a police sergeant and son of former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt, said after the ruling was handed down yesterday: “I’m just glad it’s over, man.
“The papers been mashing me up for six years because of the lies people been saying about me and my family,” he said.
“People don’t understand how hard it is to be a police officer and have a lie like that put against you because people will only believe you if God himself come down and say so.”
The 43-year-old added as he left court: “I’m just glad it’s over, I can put this behind me and me and my family can move on.”
Court of Appeal judges yesterday delivered their ruling on the Crown’s appeal to challenge the South Bahamia resident’s acquittal.
The Crown’s appeal was dismissed and the acquittal upheld.
The ruling was read by Justice Stanley John, who at the conclusion, noted that conviction was not the only option open to the magistrate.
Justice Abdulai Conteh agreed and added that allowing the Crown’s appeal would be second guessing the magistrate.
Justice Christopher Blackman said: “I am of the opinion that the decision of the magistrate was unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence.”
Prior to Mr Pratt’s acquittal in February 2010, it was alleged that at some time between May 5 and May 6, 2007, Mr Pratt had sex with two girls, ages 14 and 15, at his home.
Mr Pratt denied the allegations saying he took the girls to the bowling alley and gave them $20, then went home and fell asleep.
He said the girls came into his room and into the bed.
He testified that at no point did he have sex with them or touch them in any way.
In February 2010, Magistrate Jones acquitted Mr Pratt of the charges.