By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean yesterday said no “preferential treatment” was given to a senior immigration officer who was accused of raping a Jamaican immigrant while in his custody.
ACP Dean confirmed that the officer was picked up, questioned and released last Wednesday. However, he told The Tribune that was standard procedure and police could not a hold a man “without evidence”.
“Nothing out of the ordinary happened. He was picked up and questioned and released the same day, but that is standard practice. He was released pending the results of our ongoing investigation,” he said.
“When other government departments bring us cases, we follow procedure. So we are doing our homework, this kind of investigation cannot be rushed. We are following the same procedure. Our investigations are ongoing.”
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell on Sunday said that the “chips will fall where they may” as an investigation continues into claims from a Jamaican woman alleging she was raped by the immigration officer.
The officer was placed on administrative leave on Saturday.
However, the alleged rape was not included in any of the daily crime reports that were issued by the Royal Bahamas Police Force last week.
According to The Gleaner of Jamaica, the woman who is from Ocho Rios, St Ann, alleged that she was abducted and raped by the officer after she was caught up in the police arrest of 11 women on suspicion of prostitution at a local bar on December 13. The alleged rape victim, who claimed to be a bartender at the establishment, was among those arrested.
The arrest of the women was circulated by police in a crime report.
She told The Gleaner that despite producing a copy of her spousal permit to prove legal status, she was still taken onto the bus that took all of them to a downtown Nassau police station.
“Everyone was afraid,” she told the Jamaican daily, “I thought I was safe since I have my papers. When we went in the bus, I said, ‘I have residency papers. I have a spousal permit’.”
After being detained at the Central Police Station, The Gleaner said, and then the Detention Centre, the woman claimed she was released into the custody of the immigration officer last week Monday.
She alleged that the officer signed her out of the Detention Centre, telling her that he was taking her to the Immigration Department.
However, she claimed that the officer later took her to his home where she was repeatedly forced to have sex with him.
He allowed her to leave his home last Tuesday morning, she claimed. Later that day, she filed a report with the police.
Mr Mitchell also revealed on Sunday that a separate investigation was underway into a complaint by another detainee who alleged that money, which was checked in upon his arrival at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, was missing as he was released.
Mr Mitchell said if the money were not found a police investigation would be launched.