T&T cops charged over kidnapping, sexual assault

(Trinidad Express) THE two police officers on multiple criminal charges including the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman will spend this weekend in custody after appearing in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Even though Cpl Adrian Jack and PC Omari Gonzales were granted bail in the sum of $500,000 and $300,000 respectively, the officers, who were last attached to the Western Division, were unable to have their bail bonds secured before the closure of the court. The officers appeared before Senior Magistrate Gail Gonzales in the Fourth (A) Court around 11 a.m. and were not called upon to enter a plea on any of the indictable charges.
The charges
They face a total of 12 charges. Jack is accused of indecent and grievous sexual assault against the woman; accepting bribes of $3,000 and $1,800 to forego a possession of marijuana charge against her; attempting to obtain $1,800 to forego the charge; perverting the course of justice; kidnapping and false imprisonment. Gonzales is charged with kidnapping the woman; corruptly agreeing to accept $3,000 to forego the charge; accepting $1,800 as a reward to forego the charge and false imprisonment.
The offences are alleged to have taken place on February 25, 2015 along Saddle Road, Maraval, during a roadblock exercise. bail increased Both officers were able to obtain bail at the police station on Thursday in the sum of $250,000 by a Justice of the Peace after the charges were laid, but upon their appearance in court, Magistrate Gonzales questioned why police officers with such serious allegations against their names are allowed station bail.
Pointing out the seriousness of the charges, the magistrate said she was “shocked” and “concerned” that the granting of bail was allowed to take place at the police station. She said the courtroom was the appropriate jurisdiction for bail to be considered. Soon after making the comments, the magistrate had the courtroom cleared of members of the public and the media to read the charges, given that some were of a sexual nature and the name of the victim is not allowed in the public domain.
Members of the media were later informed by court staff that Magistrate Gonzales had revoked the bail granted to the officers at the police station and granted the fresh bail bonds to be approved by a Clerk of the Peace. Jack was represented by attorneys Keith Scotland and Chase Pegus, while Patrick Godson-Phillip represented Gonzales during the hearing. Media photographers camped outside of the courthouse for close to four hours after the appearance in an attempt to capture photos of the officers but this was not attainable.
Court and Process Branch officers ordered members of the media to remove themselves to the far side of the roadway opposite the prisoners’ entrance to the courthouse. Members of the public also gathered along the roadway to catch a glimpse of the accused officers but as they left the building, the officers hid their faces before being swiftly placed in a heavily-tinted Amalgamated Security Service van by their colleagues before being whisked away to prison.
They will return to court on April 9.

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