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No Jail Time, but Indian Man found GUILTY of Workplace Sexual Assault

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 15, 2023 – The CHIEF MAGISTRATE found Ritz Carlton ex-employee guilty of sexual assault on August 15, 2023; Magnetic Media was in court for the final day and verdict in a sexual assault trial against GYANARANJAN SINGH, 28 years old.

The trial of touching and groping a female in a sexual manner on her buttock in the work place resulted in a guilty verdict but the sentence was lenient as the man, though convicted, will serve no jail time.

His sentence was suspended and deportation recommended.

He was given a seven day grace period to get his stuff together and leave the country without immigration interference.  If Singh had failed to do so by or before the expiration of the grace period, immigration authorities would immediately be charged with making moves to detain the man in order to deport him back home to India.

The learned Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin in his well articulate and self-explanatory reasoning for his decision said, he was convinced by the victim’s evidence led by Ms. Enjaleek Dickenson on behalf of the Prosecution that she was touched and groped sexually by the defendant.

The CM said the virtual complainant (VC) would know quite well when she’s been touched inappropriately.  He said that he was not convinced by the accused senior defense attorney Mr. Ashwood Forbes who accepted and said that “yes” there was a touch but his contentions leaned on the touch being “accidental” and “not sexual.”

Attorney Forbes submitted to the learned CM that the alleged incident happened in a small walk-in cooler/chiller with shelves and a trolley inside, while both(VC & defendant) were busy on a night in December of 2022, one of the busiest months in the peak tourist season.

Mr. Forbes invited the CM to look and please pay close attention to his client’s action after the accidental touch.  He began crying and stating he’s sorry, he ran the virtual complainant down as she tried to get away to make a complaint and he was repeatedly trying to stop her and kept saying I’m sorry… I’m sorry.

Forbes said this is a clear sign of he didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident.

Ms. Dickenson through re-examination challenged the defense assertion of how they incident went down, where it went down and that it was not an accident but a deliberate wrongful sexual attack on the female employee.

The CM explained the law on what he had to look for in the crown’s case.

He considered the proximity of the small space that the VC and the defendant had.  He considered consent but there was none in this case.  He said he accepted that the groping was by the defendant’s hand starting below and moving forward as described and re-enacted by the VC.

The CM as he concluded his written reasons, sentenced the defendant to 30 days at HMP, suspended for 12 months and deportation recommendation to take effect in seven days.

THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE’S “CONCERNING” OBSERVATION

After the sentencing, the Hon Chief Magistrate Mr. Hatmin paused for a moment and said “it is very troubling and extremely concerning that especially for men of color like ourselves, we always find ourselves disrespecting the opposite sex on the workplace.  It is a total disregard and disrespect for females that we cannot work around in an environment and not allow ourselves to be drawn away or taken down by sexual appetites and harassment of females on the workplace.

We must learn to appreciate and be able to work with the opposite sex and not make them uncomfortable.”

Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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Astwood Rejects Foreign Interim Commissioner Appointment, Advocates for Locals

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Dana Malcolm ‘

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – “Hell no” would have been the response from Edwin Astwood, Opposition leader, to the prospect of hiring a foreigner to the position of interim acting Police Commissioner; instead, he brought out a list of locals the Governor should have considered.

“I have nothing against the individual [hired]––but what I am saying is we have 16 top right ranked Turks Islanders,” he continued, “and if I was a part of any meeting–– concerning this acting post and bringing in someone from the outside, I would say no.  In fact, I would say hell no.”

Astwood gave his reasons:

“I strongly believe that promoting Islanders from within to the position of commissioner is crucial. Internal promotions foster a sense of loyalty and commitment among the department ranks. Officers, who worked their way up through the organization, have a deep understanding of its culture, values, and operational procedures,” he said.

The Leader of the People’s Democratic Movement was speaking after the funeral of the late Jayden Joshua Smith, five days after UK national Chris Eyre was appointed to the role of interim acting commissioner following the announcement that the man who was hired for the police commissioner post would be unable to take on the job until May, for medical reasons. The opposition leader believed those in charge namely: Washington Misick, Turks and Caicos Premier and Daleeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, TCI Governor should have considered locals for the post.

”You cannot tell me, looking at these 16 names of the top brass of the police, at the level of inspectors and up, that no one from these 16 can at least act as Acting Commissioner until the Commissioner comes here,” said Edwin Astwood.

Citing what he described as the abundance of skilled officers, Astwood chided Washington Misick for allowing the appointment.

”I am disappointed in the Premier and the Ministers; in whatever meeting they had, for not representing our people, I surely would have.” He continued, “I was very disappointed at the House of Assembly on Thursday when I heard members—afraid to come to the defense of our people in this position.”

Astwood also pointed out that it was not unusual for the country to have a local commissioner, and the record of the last 14 years where the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) had been under a foreign national. Citing the government’s desire for results, he said,

”[In] fourteen years, have you seen law enforcement and crime fighting and prevention getting better, getting worse, or has it stayed the same?”

“We have had commissioners and activity commissioners from the Turks and Caicos in the past, did we get results? I would say yes. We’ve had commissioners and deputy commissioners from outside; did we get results? We gave them 14 years, and we’re still saying that we need to bring someone from the outside to give them another 14 years? Are we saying that our local people cannot do the job? I say they can Yes, we can,” he maintained.

Eyre, who is holding the fort for Edvin Martin, Commissioner Designate, will only be in the post for three months; Martin is expected to arrive in May.

Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner and Kendall Grant, Assistant Commissioner had both been serving in the post since November, when Trevor Botting demitted the office.

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