Police officer stands trial for sexual acts with minors

PHILIPSBURG--Community police officer J.F.J.S. (42) stood trial Wednesday on allegations that he had committed illicit sexual acts on two girls who were in his care.
 
Youth Prosecutor Karola van Nie considered the case proven and requested six months suspended, three years' probation, and 140 hours community service.
 
If proven guilty the man may also lose his job with the police.
S. denied the allegations, stating that nothing of that nature had happened between him and his under-aged stepdaughter nor with another girl, also a minor, who was put in the officer's care by her mother.
 
The alleged crimes concerning the stepchild, who was born in August 1997, were committed between January 2012 and January 31, 2014. The crimes against the other child, born in 1999, were allegedly committed in July 2013.
"What I'm being accused of is not the truth," the defendant told the Judge after he was confronted with the allegation that he had improperly touched his stepdaughter in her room, on several occasions.
 
In smart phone messages sent to the victim and her mother after the January 31 incident S. had stated he had "messed up" and had asked for forgiveness and said he was sorry.
 
The accused, however, said he had never asked for forgiveness and maintained that nothing had happened.
 
The victim's mother went to the police once to report the crime, but later prevented her daughter from going to the station to make a statement.
The case finally started rolling while the girl was doing an internship at the Court of Guardianship. Two weeks later, her biological father took her to the police station where she gave her statement.
 
In the second incident, S. allegedly had attempted to take the other girl's clothes off after he found out she had a picture of a naked girl on her phone.
"It was awkward. I was afraid he was going to rape me," the girl told the Judge of Instruction while she was under oath, the Prosecutor said Wednesday.
 
S., however, said the girl had "made it all up."
 
The Prosecutor had no understanding for the child's mother's attitude in this case and for her preventing her daughter from giving a statement.
"She let her daughter down hard," Van Nie said, adding that mother and daughter still do not have contact with each other.
 
The Prosecutor considered both cases proven as these were supported by other evidence besides the girls' statements.
 
She held it against the defendant that he had failed to protect the sexual integrity of two young children and had betrayed the girls' confidence in him.
Attorney-at-law Shaira Bommel said the Prosecutor tried to put the girl's mother in a bad light and called for the husband's acquittal for lack of evidence.
 
"I am not saying the girls are lying, but they do not always tell the truth," the lawyer said. Bommel did not lend much credibility to the girls' statements and said they were not supported by witness' statements. The Court will give its decision on October 22.
 
(The Daily Herald)

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