By Aaron Humes: It was almost an aside during Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives, at the high point of the debate on the motion to move the Belize Advisory Council to advise the Governor-General to exercise the prerogative of mercy on the late Nora Parham.
But a young Belize City woman claims she has been subject to sexual abuse by her stepfather since childhood, and that police allegedly dragged their feet taking her report.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, briefly brought up the matter this way: “There is a young lady [redacted], who was allegedly raped by her stepfather since she was a child and recently went to the police station to file a report and she was turned away. And so a lawyer had to take her in there to make that report.”
Subsequently, the accuser appeared with her attorney in other sections of the press to amplify her complaint of repeated and escalated molestation and abuse. As no charges have been brought, we will avoid details here except to say that the Commissioner of Police had to personally intervene for the report to be officially made.
On Monday, Police Department Communications Officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Fitzroy Yearwood said he took offence to any suggestion in some sections of the press and on social media that he, a veteran officer of 26 years on the force, was somehow protecting the accused.
“It is not a practice of the police to turn anyone away when they come to make a report. And I am certain that the Commissioner of Police will address this if any officers did any such thing like that,” he said, adding that “I have since consulted my attorneys because as we all know, I’m the police public relations officer – so you’re not referring to anybody else – and I would never interfere with any investigation carried out by the Police Department against any member of my family…”