On Wednesday night police detained registered sex offender Kenrick Alston Bowman, for the second time. Officials say it is likely that he will be charged on Friday for an incident involving an underage boy on Saturday night.
Bowman was convicted in California for oral sex with a 14 year-boy, and moved to Belize two years ago. He was living alone in a house just off Police Street Extension in the Lake Independence area of Belize City.
On Saturday night, around 8:30, neighbours heard a young boy pleading with Bowman to let him go home, and that’s when they realized that something was very wrong.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one neighbour said “I saw the little boy come out and he was hiding around the fence over there to see who was around, or watching. I saw him, and I said: ‘What, what are you doing there?’ He was crying and he said he wanted to go home and the man never wanted him to go home. He said that the man was having oral sex with him and the guy paid him(with) two (packets of) noodles.”
Shocked by what he had just heard, the neighbour immediately called the police, but that’s where the story took an incredible turn. Two police officers responded and took Bowman in for questioning, based on the allegation by the young boy. But Bowman was released and returned home about an hour later. The home was not searched and no potential evidence was gathered at the scene. In fact, it appears that the matter was promptly forgotten.
Sr. Superintendent of Police Chester Williams, regional commander of Eastern Division south, revealed on Wednesday that his officers had not informed him of the incident, but that he heard it from the media on Tuesday. That sparked an immediate investigation, four days later.
“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”, Williams told reporters.
That late investigation has outraged residents in the area, particularly the man who sounded the alarm and called in the police.
“That should have happened the same night. They should have cordoned off the scene, gone into the house; looked for evidence, looked for specimens, and looked for all the necessary things like computers and cameras that these types of people use.”
On Thursday, residents of the area told the Reporter that since moving in, Bowman has always been seen in the company of very young boys in the neighbourhood. Speaking off the record, one resident told us that they have seen male children being dropped off there where apparently Bowman acts as a babysitter, even overnight.
Williams, though, claims that police have questioned the other youths who allegedly received “noodles” from Bowman and all of them have denied any illicit sexual activity.
Police picked up Bowman on Wednesday after reports that he was packing up and preparing to leave the area. A caution statement was taken from him on Thursday, and he will likely be arraigned as early as Friday morning.