0

Immigration Officer Will Not Face Trial Over Rape Claim

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A SENIOR immigration officer will not stand trial in the Supreme Court on a rape allegation after a magistrate determined that his alleged victim’s testimony was not credible.

Norman Bastian, 54, was on administrative leave while undergoing a preliminary inquiry in Magistrate’s Court to determine if there was sufficient evidence for him to stand trial in the higher court concerning the December 15, 2014 alleged sexual assault of a Jamaican woman released to his custody.

A decision on the no-case submission made on Bastian’s behalf that the complainant was unbelievable had been delayed on more than two occasions.

However, on Tuesday, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt accepted the no-case submission argued by attorney Ryszard Humes that the complainant’s claims were not believable.

The 28-year-old complainant, who has a spousal permit, was detained along with other Jamaicans after a police raid in a nightclub in 2014 before she was released into Bastian’s custody.

She alleged that he held her against her will at his home and raped her. The Jamaican woman, who is married to a Bahamian, admitted during her testimony that she is in a relationship with another man.

She also had not immediately reported the incident or allegedly being detained against her will when taken to a police station.

The decision of the chief magistrate to discharge Bastian can be appealed by Crown prosecutor Darell Taylor. In November 2011, an amendment was made to the Court of Appeal Act, which allows the Crown to challenge a judge’s decision to acquit on a no case submission.

The complainant still has a pending civil suit against the government seeking damages for battery, assault, false imprisonment and the breach of her constitutional rights.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.