A former police prosecutor has been jailed for 17 years with hard labour after he was found guilty of raping a then 17-year-old girl who had gone to the police station to make a report 16 years ago.
Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor, sitting in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court on Wednesday, said aggravating factors in the case against Harry Ramlochan were that the accused was a person of trust being a police prosecutor and acting sergeant and there was a level of vulnerability as the girl and her mother had gone to make a report about domestic violence.
The judge said she considered the convict’s age and child’s age at the time of the attack, and the fact that it was her first sexual encounter.
Prosecutor Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal had told the court the attack had severely scarred the victim for the rest of her life, saying she hoped that through her resilience, the victim will be able to overcome the effects of the incident.
Jurors took 90 minutes to find Ramlochan, who was 50 years old at the time of the crime, guilty of the offence after a month-long trial.
The woman told the court that on Saturday, May 5, 2001, she went with her mother to the San Fernando police station to make a report that her mother had been beaten by a relative.
Ramlochan took the mother inside to make the report and then said he wanted to take a statement from her daughter. Her mother advised her to go with him.
In her evidence, the victim said that Ramlochan took her to a dormitory where he asked her if she had ever had sex. She told him she was waiting until marriage.
She said Ramlochan then tried to hug and kiss her and left the station, and on his return offered her a drink of rum but she also refused. She also refused the money Ramlochan offered her when he took her to the Courts and Process Office.
The court heard the police officer became upset and closed the door and pushed her against a cabinet and forcefully kissed her and bit her lips. He then pushed her against a wall and pulled down her pants and underwear. He pushed her on a sponge on the ground where he raped her.
But in his defence, Ramlochan denied having sex with the then 17-year-old. He said that on the day she came to the police station she insisted that he arrest her father.
He said when she arrived at the station, her lip was already swollen and she held a towel over her mouth. He said she told him that while her father was beating her mother, he slapped her on her mouth. He said he changed the money to give to the then teen because he felt sorry for her after she told him her father never gave them money.
In his plea for mitigation attorney Chris Ramlal urged the judge to consider his client’s age, that he had an unblemished disciplinary record since he joined the police service in 1972. CARIBBEAN NEWS SERVICE