Jury delivers split verdict in police reserve unlawful sex case
A jury on Monday unanimously acquitted a former reserve police officer of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson directed the nine-member panel to clear Dwayne Decosta of criminal sexual misconduct with the 13-year-old after she failed to give evidence of any sexual contact between them.
However, the jury found that Decosta’s interaction with the teenager at the East Street South Police Station on July 14, 2018, amounted to criminal conduct and convicted him of abduction and assault after about two and a half hours of deliberation.
Decosta’s accuser, now 14, was at the station for safekeeping. The girl’s mother had dropped her to her father’s place without seeing her inside. The child’s father was on vacation and a neighbor dropped her to the police station.
Decosta was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 14 based on the girl’s initial statement to police.
However, during her testimony she repudiated allegations of any sexual connection between them. She did acknowledge that an officer called her from the reception area of the station and took her into a room upstairs of the garage. The court heard that this was a restricted area.
In his interview, Decosta admitted to calling the girl outside but he claimed it was to get her something to eat from a nearby gas station.
Decosta remains on bail and returns to court for sentencing on October 2.
Jacqueline Burrows and Perry McHardy prosecuted. Murrio Ducille represented Decosta.