By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A POLICE officer yesterday testified how a teenage girl’s demeanour notably changed from upbeat to “disturbed” after allegedly having sex with a police reservist at a police station last year.
Sergeant Lakeisha Bain said the 14-year-old was not the same person she was before allegedly being forced to perform sex acts by Dwayne Decosta on July 14, 2018.
Sgt Bain said when she left the South Beach Police station at 8.30 that morning, the girl was in a “jovial” mood. But when she returned shortly after noon, the girl appeared “disturbed about something.”
“She wasn’t the same person I left,” the officer added.
The evidence was led during Decosta’s trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson over allegations he had unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl while working the 1am to noon shift at the South Beach Police Station.
Based on the evidence led thus far, the allegations against Decosta are founded in a statement the girl gave to Insp Bowles in her mother’s presence on the same date of the incident.
It is alleged that after being taken to the police station by her father’s neighbour on the date in question, and while sitting in the foyer, Decosta, dressed in navy blue, called the girl from the foyer and directed her to a room upstairs at the rear of the building.
According to the evidence, Decosta beckoned for the girl to come outside at 11.53am.
While upstairs in the fire services garage, Decosta is alleged to have asked her if she ever had sex before, before ordering her to get on her knees and unzipping his pants. He is also alleged to have grabbed the side of her head and made her perform oral sex on him for about three minutes.
Decosta is further alleged to have fondled the teenager, refusing to stop when she asked him to. He is also alleged to have told the girl he would pay her to have sex with him, a proposal she rejected. Afterwards, Decosta is alleged to have instructed the girl to return to where she was sitting in the foyer area.
According to the evidence, the girl returned to the foyer at 12.21pm.
Yesterday, Sgt Bain testified that she reported to work at 8am to cover the 8am to 4pm shift. In clocking in, she took over from Sergeant Sears who worked the night shift. She said Sgt Sears pointed out the young girl and said she was not to leave the station until a parent or guardian came for her.
Sgt Bain said she left the station at about 8.30am to go on patrol. She said she returned at around 12.15pm with lunch, and when she noticed that the girl was still at the station, offered her something to eat. However, the teenager refused.
Sgt Bain noted that prior to going on patrol, she had spoken with the eighth grader and she seemed “jovial”. However, she said when she returned to the station, the girl’s demeanour seemed “frantic” and that she “kept her head held down.”
“She seemed frantic and disturbed about something,” Sgt Bain said. “She wasn’t the same person I left.”
During previous proceedings, and while testifying in open court, the girl denied telling police about any sexual acts allegedly committed by Decosta, and in fact said the contents of her statement were “incorrect”.
The teenager said although she signed her statement, she did not read it over before she signed, and neither was it read back to her by the interviewing officer. She also said she didn’t sign the document truthfully.
The girl also testified in open court that she could not remember if her mother was present during the interview.
And those admissions came after she doubled down on her previous testimony that “nothing” sexual happened between her and Decosta at the South Beach Police Station.
However, Inspector Altida Bowles, who took the statement from the girl and conducted Decosta’s record of interview, has since said that not only did she read the 14-year-old’s statement back to her, but the eighth grader signed it “in four places” along with her mother before she herself signed it.
Meanwhile, during Monday’s proceedings, jurors heard how Decosta denied having sexual intercourse with the girl during his initial record of interview last year.
Decosta also denied taking the girl to where the alleged incident took place—a room upstairs in the station’s fire services garage. He said he never went to that area in the date in question, and has never been there in his entire life.
Additionally, Decosta denied taking the girl outside of the police station’s precincts. He admitted to attempting to assist her in getting something to eat from the Esso gas station across the street, but that never materialised.
Besides that, and taking down an incident report from the girl when she arrived at the station that day, Decosta maintained he had no other interaction with the girl, who is now 14.
“At no time did I touch the subject,” Decosta told the interviewing officer during his record of interview.
The case continues.