It has been a week since a 25-year-old woman from San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, reported to police that she was raped whilst in custody at the police station in that municipality on December 20. Ordinarily charges would have been levied almost immediately against the accused, but in this case it took over one week before officers at San Ignacio Police Station levied charges against one of their own. 21-year-old, Police Constable Luke Moreira of a Santa Elena Town address has been charged with two counts of rape under the amended criminal code in 2014. Love News spoke with the Commanding Officer for San Ignacio Police formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, who explained that a thorough investigation was done.
“What happened, Renee, is that my way of work is that I try to do a thorough investigation. From time to time we have what we refer to as public pressures and so forth and sometimes we tend to collapse quickly and then we end up having the investigation being distorted. So, what I had to get done was proper investigation, we try not to leave any stone unturn.”
The woman, Vanessa Evans, was reportedly being detained following reports of a domestic dispute that she was engaged in and since she was under the influence of alcohol, she was detained for a brief period. Superintendent Ramirez says that currently the interdiction process against Moreira is being worked on.
“What is normally the process we do as a disciplined organization is upon an officer being arrested and charged you would then prepare what is referred to as an interior report to the commissioner requesting for a letter of interdiction to be sent to us which we then issue to the officer. Whenever he gets that letter then he is on interdiction pending the outcome of the investigation. However he also needs to undergo internal discipline since he breached our, what we refer to as, Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline which is a part of the discipline code within the Police Department.”
It is expected that other officers will be disciplined internally but that investigation is ongoing.