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Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014. 6:44 pm CST.

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman

Tuesday, September 9, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Patrick Faber was accused of assault based on a complaint made over the weekend by a 25-year-old staffer of the Ministry and later withdrawn by her.

Faber was alleged to have hit and choked the woman during a birthday party at his residence after she refused to give him her cell phone when he asked for it.

He insists that the matter is private, personal and resolved, and the Police have backed him up. But the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) disagree.

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber

In a statement released today the party’s United Women’s Group, standard bearers, leader Francis Fonseca, the National Executive and women members generally, say Faber has a “sworn duty, by virtue of his several oaths of offices to the national and people of Belize, to categorically state what did occur in his home, and must give a full and truthful statement to the Police about the said incident.

Senator Shoman, an attorney by trade, explained to reporters this afternoon that while complainant can withdraw their complaints at any time to police, the complainant herself has not come forward; the news of the withdrawal came from first Faber himself and was later confirmed by police, reluctantly.

The police can still investigate what was behind the withdrawal and other related matters, and should. Shoman told us that such an investigation would not be self-defeating, even if the complainant, who has already withdrawn her complaint, refuses to cooperate with the investigation.

The Police have a duty to follow through, and Faber, regardless of his personal views, must answer to the charge, otherwise it reinforces that persons in power are not to be held responsible for their actions, Shoman said.

It is especially important that if Faber needs help for anger or alcohol issues, the Senator remarked, that he get it.

The United Democratic Party must get involved and suspend Faber based on the outcome of an investigation, Shoman stated.

Shoman further called on the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Women’s Department to issue comment on the allegations. But where is the line between private life and public life in such a sensitive matter as this one?

According to Shoman, if it is clear that another person suffered a criminal act as a result of the actions of a public figure in his private capacity, then it becomes public purview.

Faber has said that he and the woman remain friends and out of respect for their friendship he would not divulge details of their encounter.

He says there is nothing wrong with his knowledge of the female since the age of 16, which is the age of consent for sexual intercourse in Belize, though there is no indication that the two were or are intimate.

 

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