Verdict expected in police extortion case

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A jury verdict is expected to rule, today, in the case of 47 year-old police constable Joseph Peters who is accused of demanding money with intent to extort and conspiracy to extort.

The court heard closing arguments in the case on Tuesday. Prosecutor Adlai Smith argued that the officer used his position to intimidate a 57-year-old business man to pay money in order to prevent his arrest for having sex with an underage girl.

In 2015, the businessman is alleged to have had sexual relations with two young women at a condominium. Peters is alleged to have approach the man after the encounter.

The businessman testified that the officer first asked the younger of the two women if she had had sex with the man. When she responded in the positive, Peters put the man in handcuffs informing him that the girl was underage — 15 years old.

The businessman continued to explain that Peters called the girl’s mother who arrived on the scene in under two minutes. Peters is then alleged to have told the man to negotiate with the mother to avoid arrest.

The mother is said to have asked for $600,000, then reduced her price to $200,000 and accepted a vehicle as part of the payment. Later, the mother is said to have agreed to accept $150,000, paid in $9,000 monthly payments, and she received the vehicle.

The court also heard from another witness who claimed that he, Peters, the two young women, and the mother of the younger female all came up with the scheme to extort the businessman, to demand $200,000 and to share the ill-gotten gains equally.

Peters however says he is innocent. His attorney Ralph Francis argued that the witness is not credible as he had made a deal with the prosecutors.

In May 2015, the businessman was charged with statutory rape and granted $20,000 bail with a $10,000 cash requisite.

The girl’s mother and another man were also charged and remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison.

The businessman’s name is being withheld as per the Sexual Offences Act which prevents the name of the perpetrator from being released until he or she is convicted.

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