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Police Officer Contradicts Teen's Claim In Child Sex Case

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN police officer yesterday contradicted a teenager's claims that her official statement against a police reservist who allegedly had sex with her was not read back to her by the officer after she gave it.

Inspector Altida Bowles testified that not only did she read the 14-year-old's July 2018 statement against Dwayne Decosta back to her, but the eighth grader signed it "in four places".

However, Insp Bowles did not say whether the girl's mother was present during the interview. Previously, the girl said she couldn't remember if her mother was with her when the statement was given.

Insp Bowles' testimony came a day after the teenager denied telling Insp Bowles, anything about any sexual acts allegedly committed against her by Decosta.

Additionally, the teenager said although she signed her statement, she did not read it over before she signed, and neither was it read back to her by the interviewing officer. She also said she didn't sign the document truthfully.

Yesterday, Insp Bowles did not go much into detail about what she was told by the girl or her mother. However, she said the day after the incident in question, she met with both of them at the South Beach Police Station--where the crime is alleged to have taken place, and was directed to a certain area in the fire services garage where the girl gave her "certain information".

Decosta allegedly committed the act in one of the rooms upstairs to the rear of the building in the fire services garage.

Insp Bowles said she also assisted the girl and her mother in getting to the hospital, where the former was examined. After that examination, she said she was handed a kit and a hospital form, the former of which she turned over to an officer in the crime scene unit.

Insp Bowles' testimony came during Decosta's trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson alleging he had unlawful sexual intercourse with her on July 14, 2018, in the precincts of the South Beach Police Station.

It is alleged that after being taken to the police station by her father's neighbour on the date in question, and while sitting in the foyer, an officer dressed in navy blue and alleged to be Decosta called the girl, who was 13 at the time, from the foyer and directed her to a room upstairs at the rear of the building.

While there, Decosta is alleged to have asked her if she ever had sex before, before ordering her to get on her knees, unzipping his pants, pulling out his penis and pushing her head towards it. He is also alleged to have grabbed the side of her head and made her perform oral sex on him for about three minutes.

Decosta is further alleged to have fondled the teenager, refusing to stop when she asked him to. He is also alleged to have told the girl he would pay her to have sex with him, a proposal she denied. Afterwards, Decosta is alleged to have instructed the girl to return to where she was sitting in the foyer area.

When she was cross-examined on the contents of her statement, however, the teenager said the claims against the accused in her statement to police are not true. In fact, the 14-year-old said the contents of her statement to police are "incorrect".

When asked if whatever is contained in her statement is correct and/or true, the teenager looked away from the camera to her left, scratched the back of her head and said: "Incorrect."

The teenager, in response to a question by the prosecutor, confirmed that she gave her statement the same day as the alleged incident. However, when it was put to her that the contents of the statement were fresh in her mind, she started twirling her hair, shrugged and said "I don't know."

When the prosecutor suggested that she was being dishonest to the court, and asked what her response was to such an assertion, the girl said "nothing".

Meanwhile, Insp Bowles said after she interviewed Decosta in the presence of his attorney at the time, Crystal Rolle, on the matter, the reserve sergeant refused to sign the record of interview. However, she said he did give a statement under caution, which she said he wrote himself.

Insp Bowles also said Decosta refused to participate in an identification parade.

The case continues.

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