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Police confirm women claiming rape were “carnally known”

Posted: Saturday, November 25, 2017. 9:42 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Police Department, this week, confirmed that two women who alleged they were gang raped by three police officers while in detention at the Independence police station, were certified as “carnally known” by a doctor but stopped short of confirming rape.

The report against the three officers was made more than two weeks ago and since then, the police department has released very little information regarding this incident. The media has persisted and even questioned whether surveillance cameras in the Independence police station recorded any of that night’s happenings.

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The police department also has not been able to say whether or not allegations that footage from that night have gone missing are true. According to the police press office, cops are “still investigating”.

Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) Commander, ACP Joseph Myvette told the media this week that police are looking at “inconsistencies”, which need to be clarified. The accused officers have not yet faced any charges and remain on-duty.

According to details in this week’s Reporter newspaper, “the two women, who are cousins, were allegedly raped in separate areas of the police station compound – one inside the station itself, reportedly by two junior officers – and the other outside the building under a step, by an officer of higher rank.”

Of note, in many rape cases, the accused is usually detained by police upon the report being made. Members of the public have expressed outrage and disappointment of the police department’s seeming nonchalant approach to this investigation, including the People’s United Party’s United Women’s Group, which said in a statement that it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the irresponsible and unprofessional manner in which this allegation of gang rape by police authorities is being handled”.

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