By Ingrid Fernandez, Staff Reporter
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, this week, said the two officers from San Ignacio and San Pedro accused of rape and carnal knowledge respectively, have been dealt with accordingly and do not accurately represent the Department.
Speaking at the Regional Commanders meeting at the Police Academy in Belmopan, Whylie said the actions of those officers should not be seen as a holistic representation of the Department, but as isolated individual violations.
He said the Department is a large formation with over 2,000 members and it is difficult to control the behavior of all individuals. Whylie said the incidents were regrettable but the Department has taken action against each officer.
“The incidents that took place were two terrible incidents that should have never had occurred. The officers both knew better, not only as a police officer but as an individual, and they chose to do wrong and the Department confronted it head-on when it was reported to us. They did the investigation and where the evidence was found, we dealt with it. Both officers have been charged, they have both been interdicted,” Whylie said.
He said while the Department can’t guarantee such incidents won’t happen again, it will not condone any illegal sexual behavior. He added the Department would continue to investigate any such report and any officer found guilty would be penalized to the full extent of the law.
21-year-old Police Constable Luke Moreira from the San Ignacio police formation was charged with rape in the final week of December. He was accused of raping 25-year-old Vanessa Evans while she was being held in police custody at the station. Evans came public, saying she will fight the matter to the full extent, to seek justice for herself and whomever else Moreira may have aggrieved in similar fashion before.
According to San Ignacio Deputy Commander, Assistant Superintendent Reymundo Reyes, the Department moved swiftly to investigate the accusations as soon as they received information about the abuse. The investigation led to Moreira being charged.
Days later, another police officer was accused of a similar crime. 26-year-old Kyle Herbert Serrano, of the San Pedro police formation, was charged with three counts of sexual assault for ‘unlawful carnal knowledge’ of a 13-year-old girl on three different occasions.