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Devain Flores Sr. faces jail time for child cruelty after video goes viral

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2024. 6:45 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: Belize’s Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, personally led the prosecution of a man charged with child cruelty on Wednesday, following a disturbing video showing the abuse of a three-year-old child.

The video, captured on surveillance camera, depicts Devain Flores Sr. physically assaulting the young child on two separate occasions. Initially charged with common assault, Flores pleaded not guilty on Monday and was released on bail despite a pending charge for wounding a woman.

Outraged by the lenient charge, Commissioner Williams directed the police to investigate further and upgrade the charges to child cruelty. Williams, who had not personally presented a case in court since 2016, appeared before Magistrate Baja Shoman on Wednesday to prosecute Flores.

Following discussions with the child’s mother, who was initially hesitant to press charges, Flores pleaded guilty to two counts of child cruelty. The commissioner emphasized the importance of holding the perpetrator accountable, stating, “When we have situations like this, the police department… must do our best in making sure that those responsible are brought to justice.”

The offense carries a maximum sentence of ten years, and Williams has requested a custodial sentence rather than a fine. Flores has been remanded pending sentencing on June 3rd.

The case has sparked widespread outrage and concern in Belize, highlighting the need for greater protection of children from abuse. Commissioner Williams’ direct involvement in the prosecution signals a commitment to prioritize cases of child cruelty and ensure that perpetrators face appropriate consequences.

 

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