Yesterday we told you of the registered sex offender residing on Police Street in Belize City. The 42-year-old man has been convicted in the USA for the offense of copulating with a minor under the age of 14 by force or fear. He is a registered sex offender in California and residents want him out of the area. He has been detained and released without any charge. Neighbors are accusing him of sodomizing one of the boys in the neighborhood. But it goes deeper and while police are yet to establish when this alleged child predator entered the country, residents suspect that he has been abusing several children in the neighborhood for quite some time. Today the media asked Senior Superintendent Chester Williams how Police are handling the matter.
SENIOR SUPERINTENDENCE CHESTER WILLIAMS
“The allegation, if it is true, is a very very serious one and I will tell you that the police will not side idly by and see that being swept under the rug; that will not happen, if the allegations are true. Hence the reason why there must be an investigative process and I have directed my investigators along with the person in charge of Domestic Violence Unit; they have now teamed up with human development officers in the area canvasing to see if we could find any children or child who may had been victim of this alleged child molester. We have interviewed one child that child had given us certain information which again we are still probing into that allegation to ensure that there is credibility to the allegation because at the end of the day due to the nature of the offence we want to ensure that when we move that we have sufficient to be able to arrest and charge somebody. So the investigation is still in its infancy stage and as soon as we are through or we have obtained the level of evidence that we think we need to be able to effect an arrest then we will inform the media as to the progress of that investigation.”
“Has a medical examination been performed on the child?”
“I cannot say at this time. The person in charge of Domestic Violence Unit was directed to do certain things and those things require a process and therefore I am allowing the process to take place.”
“Can you tell us when this person entered the country and if you have any reports of maybe multiple victims?”
“We do not have that information at this time, we have contacted the US Embassy to verify certain information and we have not received verification as yet. We do not even know if this man is a registered sex offender as has been described in the media. You see while the media may have the information, we need to be responsible in how we do things and one way of being responsible is to ensure that before we put information out there that we verify them to ensure that the information that we are putting out to the public is true.”
We are told that this African American registered sex offender lured his victim using ramen noodles. Neighbors were weary of him but a report has not been made against him. However, the police officers who initially began dealing with the matter have come under serious scrutiny by the public.
“Whilst yes the police has a duty to protect any person, a child or citizen, the primary person who has the responsibility to protect that child and ensure the best interest of that child is the parent of the child and based by what I was briefed by my officers is that they were told certain things by the parent of the child and based on what they were told by the parent the police acted and I have not seen any misconduct on the part of the police officers who had dealt with the situation in the first instance. What is important to me now is how we move forward from where we are today and hence the reason I have directed that a full investigation be conducted and I will tell you that if it is confirmed that the child was indeed molested and the parents of the child do not wish to proceed to court with court action then we will request that Social Services take the matter upon themselves because the law makes provision that a social officer can be a complainant. We will ask Social Services to take up the matter and be the complainant on behalf of the child to protect the child’s interest in the matter and again it goes back to parents for some reason or the other see their child has been abused or whatever and decide that they don’t want to do anything. So what we will be doing is we will ask Social Services or Human Development office to take the matter upon themselves and be a complainant in the matter so long as we can get the relevant information from the child verifying that the child was indeed molested. Human Services have been in the picture since inception and I will tell you I am not in the habit of shielding my officers ,if my officers are wrong I will out rightly say that they are wrong, if they are right I will also say that they are right. If we make mistakes and we refuse to admit ourselves we will never become different. We want to do policing in a different way and by so doing we must admit when we are wrong and what I am saying is that based on what I have been told from the inception I have not seen any misconduct on the part of the police officers in this particular investigation.”
Williams says that authorities at the airport and along the borders have been notified of this individual in the case that he tries to abscond.