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Prize-winning cop freed of rape

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator - Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2014    

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THERE was jubilation in the Home Circuit Court yesterday when a panel of seven jurors acquitted police sergeant Oneil Patterson — a former winner of the Lasco Top Cop Award — of rape.

There were tense moments in the court as the jury of three men and four women deliberated Patterson's fate for an hour-and-a-half. But relief was etched on the policeman's face as the jurors announced the verdict, much to the delight of his colleagues inside the Number 8 courtroom and those peering through the glass sections of the doors.

"I just want to thank all my supporters and my legal team," Sergeant Patterson told the Jamaica Observer following the verdict. "It has affected me," added Patterson, a father of three children, as he spoke about the effect of the allegations on his career and personal life.

"I will be coming back stronger," he quipped.

Patterson, the Lasco Top Cop for 2012, had been on trial since last week Thursday for allegedly raping a medical doctor on the compound of the Elletson Road Police Station on May 23, 2013 after they reportedly went on a date.

The defence contended during the in-camera trial that the sex was consensual.

"The victim only cried rape," the defence said, "because she found out on the night they slept together that Patterson was not a single man as he had told her prior to them having sex".

Retired Superintendent of Police Ionie Ramsey, who gave character evidence on Patterson's behalf, told the court that she knew Patterson since 2004 and that she has a "great deal of respect for him" and that he is "a honest person".

At the same time, Attorney Peter hailed the verdict delivered in the Home Circuit Court.

"...We believe that the jury, with the unanimous verdict, has prevented what had been a tragic accusation from becoming a travesty of justice," the attorney said.

Attorney Tamika Harris appeared with Champagnie for Patterson, while Justice David Batts presided over the trial.

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