Harry Ramlochan

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Harry Ramlochan is a former police officer from Trinidad and Tobago who raped a teenage girl whilst on duty in 2001.

Ramlochan joined the police on June 1, 1972.[1] He was a churchgoing man with an otherwise unblemished record.[2] At the time of the attack he was an acting sergeant as well as a prosecutor in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court,[2] and he was 50 years old.[3]

The crime occurred on May 5, 2001 after the victim, who was seventeen and a virgin,[2] attended a San Fernando police station with her mother to complain about violence that morning towards her mother by her father.[3] Ramlochan met the pair on the veranda and took the mother inside,[2] where another officer was assigned to take the mother's statement.[1] Ramlochan returned to the verandah and asked the victim about sex, before seeking and receiving her mother's permission to question her as a witness.[1]

Ramlochan took her to a dorm where he made sexual advances to her.[1] He enquired if she was a virgin and she confirmed, telling him she wished to wait until she was married.[2] While in the dorm he tried to hug and kiss her, which she resisted.[3] They left the dorm after Ramlochan was briefly disturbed by a colleague.[1]

Next Ramlochan headed to the court prosecutor’s office where he asked the girl to change $100.[2] When she did not, the pair left to get change for the money.[1] When they returned Ramlochan told the victims' mother he wished to speak to her further before buying her a soft drink in the canteen.[2] He offered her alcohol; she refused.[3]

They finally returned to the Courts and Process Office where Ramlochan tried to pay the girl.[3] She instead tried to leave and Ramlochan became angry.[2] He injured her mouth by pushing her against a wall and a cabinet,[1] and forcefully kissed and bit her lips.[3]

Ramlochan pulled down her trousers and underwear,[3] before pushing the teen virgin onto a piece of sponge on the ground and raping her upon it.[2] He told her not to tell anybody,[1] saying she could get into trouble alongside him if she did.[3] He took her back to her mother, giving them a ride home.[1] He then took the girl's father to a bar to discuss the complaint of domestic violence.[1][2]

The following week the rape victim confided in her teachers, and shortly thereafter complained jointly with her father to the Police Complaints Authority.[3] This complaint was investigated by Inspector Christine McMilan,[2] who arranged a medical examination for the victim. The doctor's report revealed she had been deflowered recently, and when the victim showed McMilan the sponge she had it sent to the Forensic Sciences Complex where tests found human semen.[3] She charged Ramlochan with rape.[1]

It took 16 years to bring the case to trial.[3] He was tried in 2017 before justice Althea Alexis-Windsor[3] and a jury of five men and four women.[1] Victim and accused both testified.[3] Ramlochan said her lips were already injured when they met and claimed she had told him this happened when she intervened to stop her father assaulting her mother.[2] Defence witnesses included a doctor and a pastor.[3]

Following conviction the prosecution noted a range of aggravating facotrs including Ramlochan's police officer status, the fact the rape was in the prosecutor's office of a police station, the age disparity between victim and offender, and the fact the victim's virginity was taken.[2] The defence pointed to his otherwise good service and the fact two of his four children had died, with Ramlochan serving as de facto father for two of his five grandchildren as a result.[3] Sentencing was set for June 28, 2017.[1] The prosecution sought 15 to 20 years while the defence seek 10 to 15 years.[3] Ramlochan was taken into custody upon conviction to await sentencing.[2] He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.[4]