A retired police officer who 16 years ago raped a 17-year-old virgin in an office at the San Fernando Police Administration Building after she went to make a report has been found guilty.
Harry Ramlochan, who at the time was an acting sergeant and a prosecutor at the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court, is expected to be sentenced on June 28.
Ramlochan, 65, a grandfather of five, went on trial almost a month ago in the San Fernando Second Assizes before Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor after he pleaded not guilty. However, after an hour- and- a-half of deliberation the jury returned a guilty verdict. Ramlochan, who was out on bail, was taken into custody to await sentencing. The incident took place on May 5, 2001.
The victim testified that she went with her mother to the police station to report that her father had beaten her mother.
She said they met Ramlochan in the verandah and he took her mother inside the station to make the report. The victim said he came back outside and asked her if she had a boyfriend and if she wished she had someone to hug her up when the place is cold. The officer then told the mother he wanted to speak to the girl alone to take a statement from her. The woman said Ramlochan then led her to the dormitory in the station where he asked her if she ever had sex. The woman said she told him she was waiting until marriage. She said a police officer came into the dormitory, but left when he saw them. The victim said Ramlochan then tried to hug and kiss her, but she pulled away.
She recalled that the officer then took her to the court prosecutor’s office where he asked her for change for $100, but she told him no.
The victim said Ramlochan took her to a nearby bar to get change for the money, but he did not get any. She said he then stopped a taxi and they went by a street vendor who changed the money.
On their return to the station, she said he told her mother he wanted to speak to her further and took the girl to the police canteen.
She said he bought her a soft drink, then took a drink of scotch from some officers and offered her a drink, but she refused.
The victim said he took her back to the office where he offered her money, but she refused and got up to leave. However, she said he got upset, closed the door, pushed her against a cabinet and forcibly kissed her and bit her lips.
The woman said she tried to get away, but he pushed her against a wall, pulled down her pants and underwear and then pushed her on a piece of sponge on the ground where he raped her.
He then dropped her and her mother home and took the father to a bar to speak about the report made against him.
Ramlochan was subsequently charged by Insp Christine McMilan.
Ramlochan, however, denied he raped the girl. He said the girl’s lips were swollen when she came to the station and she had insisted that he charge her father. He said the girl told him that she tried to intervene when her mother and father were fighting and her father slapped her on the mouth.
In asking for leniency, his attorney Kevin Ratiram said Ramlochan had four children, but two died, and he has five grandchildren, two of whom were the children of one of his dead sons.
Ratiram said Ramlochan, who joined the Police Service in June 1972, raised those two grandchildren as his own children. Noting that Ramlochan had an unblemished record, he said Ramlochan was also heavily involved in the church.
Pointing out several aggravating factors including the victim’s age, where the rape took place, he was a policeman and the fact the victim was a virgin, state prosecutor Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal felt an appropriate sentence was 15 to 20 years.
Ramlochan was also represented by attorney Chris Ramlal while state attorney Sarah de Silva also prosecuted in the case.
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Sascha Wilson)