By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
RESERVE Sergeant Dwayne Decosta denied raping a teenage girl over four times his junior during his initial record of interview with police last year, jurors heard yesterday.
The 56-year-old denied assertions by Inspector Altida Bowles at the time that he penetrated the 13-year-old digitally and made her perform oral sex on him on July 14, 2018 at the South Beach Police Station.
Decosta also denied taking the girl to where the alleged incident took place — a room upstairs in the station’s fire services garage. He said he never went to that area on the date in question, and has never been there in his entire life.
Additionally, Decosta denied taking the girl outside of the police station’s precincts. He admitted to attempting to assist her in getting something to eat from the Esso gas station across the street, but that never materialised.
Besides that, and taking down an incident report from the girl when she arrived at the station that day, Decosta maintained he had no other interaction with the girl, who is now 14.
“At no time did I touch the subject,” Decosta told the interviewing officer during his record of interview.
The evidence was led during Decosta’s trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson over allegations he had unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl while working the 1am to noon shift at the South Beach Police Station.
Based on the evidence led thus far, the allegations against Decosta are founded in a statement the girl gave to Insp Bowles in her mother’s presence on the same date of the incident.
However, the girl has since said in open court that she could not remember if her mother was present during the interview. Additionally, the girl denied telling police about any sexual acts allegedly committed by Decosta, and in fact said the contents of her statement are “incorrect”.
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.
And that admission came moments after she doubled down on her previous testimony that “nothing” happened between her and Decosta at the South Beach Police Station.
Insp Bowles has since said that not only did she read the 14-year-old’s statement back to her, but the eighth grader signed it “in four places” along with her mother before she herself signed it.
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, Decosta, called the girl from the foyer and directed her to a room upstairs at the rear of the building.
Based on a video that was shown to Decosta during his ROI, Decosta beckoned for the girl to come outside at 11.53am.
While there, it is alleged Decosta forced the girl to commit sex acts.
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.
According to the evidence, the girl returned back to the foyer at 12.21pm. Decosta, in his ROI, said he was off duty by that time, having clocked out at noon. However, Decosta’s attorney Murrio Ducille suggested to Insp Bowles that it was “impossible” for what allegedly occurred to have taken place during roughly six minutes and 27 seconds.
A recording of the ROI was also played in court yesterday for the jury to see. Insp Bowles conducted the interview with Decosta in the presence of his lawyer, Crystal Rolle.
When Insp Bowles asked him what the extent of his contact with the girl was, Decosta said the girl told him she was dropped off by her father’s house earlier that morning, but he was out of town on a cruise and she feared for her safety, hence her showing up at the station.
In response to a question by Insp Bowles, Decosta said he wrote up an incident report.
Sometime afterwards, he said he told the girl to sit in the station’s foyer. During that time, he said the girl said she was hungry, so he attempted to assist her across the street to the gas station for something to eat.
Decosta said he did beckon for the girl to come outside, but it was not to speak to her alone, and neither did he speak to her alone. Rather, he said he did so in reference to her complaints of being hungry and “going across the street to get a snack”.
Decosta subsequently denied all of the allegations pertaining to any sexual activities between the two.
In the video, Insp Bowles subsequently showed Decosta a video purporting to feature both him and the eighth grader. The video that was shown to Decosta was not visible to the jury, however, Decosta admitted that the video showed him calling the girl outside to assist her in going to Esso.
The time stamp on that video was 11.53am on July 14.
He was also shown another video that purported to show the little girl walking back into the station on that same date at 12.21pm.
Insp Bowles suggested to Decosta during the ROI that the reason the girl did not get back to the foyer until 12.21pm is because he allegedly took her to the rear of the building and had unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
When Insp Bowles suggested that the only time the teenager left the foyer was to talk to him, Decosta said he couldn’t say.
When asked if he had anything else to say about the matter, Decosta said as a point of clarification, when he called the girl outside to escort her to Esso, she went towards a gate that faces the gas station, while he ventured away from her.
He said he ended up walking over to another part of the station’s yard where a Nassau Flight Services bus was parked, where a male was standing. Decosta said he questioned that male about who he was and why he was just standing there. He said when he turned back around, the girl was still where he left her.
He said he walked back towards her and ultimately told her she needs to go back into the police station.
The case continues today.