Policeman accused of rape acquitted
A police officer accused of raping a woman while on duty told a jury that the accusations had brought his life to an”abrupt halt.”
Yesterday the jurors allowed Constable 2146 Daniel Smith to get on with his life by acquitting him of the rape of a 19-year-old woman by a 6-3 majority.
The alleged victim told the court that she was parked at Goodman’s Bay with her boyfriend and another couple when Smith and his partner arrived in a patrol car on January 28, 2009. The officers asked to see her driver’s license and subsequently followed her to her home at Firetrail Road so she could produce it. According to the evidence, Smith then separated the woman from her boyfriend and got into her car. He allegedly had her drive to Fox Hill Road south, where she said he raped her. The woman claimed that she dropped Smith back to the Fox Hill Police Station after the alleged rape and he told her he could”get away with murder”because his uncle was a senior policeman.
Smith denied the allegation when he addressed the jury,
but he conceded he made an error in judgment when he got into the alleged victim’s vehicle.
The prosecutor, Basil Cumberbatch, told jurors that the alleged victim had committed no offense, so the officers had no need to interfere with them on the beach. Moreover, he noted that the evidence showed that officers from the Fox Hill Police Station were only assigned to patrol Fox Hill, Prince Charles Drive, Village Road and the Eastern Road.
Cumberbatch said the woman hesitated to report the offense because she did not know who to trust.
By contrast, defense lawyer Ramona Farquharson said the woman did not behave like a victim. She pointed out that the woman did not immediately answer phone calls from her boyfriend after she left with Smith. Farquharson said the boyfriend called the woman 40 to 50 times before she finally answered. The boyfriend, accompanied by two other men, met her at the C.W. Saunders Highway. But when he approached the car, she asked him,”What’s the problem?”
She said the woman’s actions were not those of someone who was afraid and neither did she behave like someone who was raped.
The jury deliberated for two hours before acquitting Smith. He had been suspended from his duties and placed on half-pay pending the outcome of the trial.