Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Cops’ Cuban nightmare continues

with 5 comments

As reported last week, the two Vancouver-area cops trapped in Cuba for the past eight months were acquitted of the accusation of sexual assault by a five all-female judicial panel. The accuser declined to attend to give evidence. The only evidence against them at trial was a statement given to a Cuban investigator the night in question. At no time was there any ability to challenge her statement by way of cross examination.

In Cuban law, there is supposed to be prosecutor and a defence lawyer present during the statement so questions can be asked and the statement challenged. That never happened.

Despite that, the judicial panel acquitted unanimously. But still they couldn’t leave. In Cuban law there is an appeal period and a week or so later the prosecutor filed an appeal. On what grounds, we are not sure.

We believe, partly because of what was said at trial, the prosecutor will argue the accuser was too drunk to be able to form consent. On this point there is no evidence. A hotel employee who saw her after the alleged incident testified she looked fine, not upset and not drunk.

Cuban police took a blood sample two days later which yielded a Blood Alcohol Content reading of 120 mgs. (80 is the legal limit to drive). What that tells us is that in the intervening time she had been drinking. Which tells us absolutely nothing about the day in question. The hotel employee’s evidence is much more telling.

After the acquittal, media across the country were telling the story. This prompted something called “Statement from Family Friend” to be released to the media.

It starts off being accusatory saying, “Just because the two men wear badges doesn’t mean they should be believed.”

I agree. And just because she’s female doesn’t automatically mean she is to be believed.

That’s why we look at the evidence, and when we do we find that there is not a scintilla of actual evidence that supports or corroborates the statement of the accuser. None.

She left the boys’ room and went to hers, through the lobby, past dozens of tourists and staff members an said nothing. When she got back to her room, her roommate asked where she had been and for reasons best known to her, she uttered the rape story. The roommate then initiated a call to hotel security who called Cuban police. At that point she was stuck with her story.

Cuban police took her to a hospital where a rape kit was conducted. There was no evidence of semen, no bruising, no tearing of the vaginal walls. Nothing one would expect to find with a violent rape as she claimed it was.

She also claimed she was dragged over 500 metres from the poolside bar, through the lobby, up three flights of stairs into the cops’ room and was held down and raped. Across a resort at peak season, through a busy lobby, past a bar, a coffee shop, front desk and somehow no one noticed? It strains credulity well past the breaking point.

The evidence given at trial by hotel security staff is just the icing on the cake.

The resort is covered by CCTV cameras. The defence asked multiple times for that video which they knew would debunk the allegation and corroborate the cops. They were never able to get any of it. And, the prosecution never led any video at trial. Why?

The answer is simple. Because the video simply did not support the allegation made in the statement so the Cuban prosecutor is covering it up.  So, why the zeal by the prosecutor to prosecute the case initially and secondly, why the appeal?

The Canadian government has not lifted a finger to help out the two officers. They said they were monitoring the situation. Fine. But the trial has occurred and the acquittal was unanimous. To keep them hostage while a sham of an appeal proceeds through the Cuban system is wrong and our government needs to come out forcefully and say so. They need to demand their release or put at risk Canadian tourism to the island and our generous foreign aid programs. Just the threat of which would get their attention. Balls are the answer, not colourful socks.

As a final note, the statement from the family friend ended with, bizarrely: “Even if what they say is true, is this the type of behaviour we want in our boys in blue?” Even if? Even if? What?

They were two young, single men on a well-earned holiday in a resort. Imagine, young single folks partying on holidays in a sun-soaked resort, who could possibly imagine cops might do that too?


Leo Knight


Written by Leo Knight

November 23, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. You’d never know it from listening to one of our MP’s [Ken HARDIE] that or illustrious Global Affairs was not involved. Still astounded this is proceeding as well as there NOT being any CPA or BCPA push to Boycott holidaying in Cuba. Sure hope this is just another means to supposedly ‘save face’ by the Prosecution.

    Ian Whittington

    November 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm

  2. Good follow up…. the Statement from a friend is just that, trying in vain to show lame support.
    But there must be something vindictive in the water back there to make statements such as “even if what they say is true”……. no there is no rebuttal to the truth….. it ends there lady…..

    Doug Bain

    November 24, 2018 at 9:22 am

  3. A 30 year old police officer takes advantage of a crazy teenage girl. Fact.
    Ignorance of her age is no excuse. Two trained and experienced police officers made a huge ethical mistake. Its no surprise that diplomats don’t want to be involved.

    Robert Hill

    December 12, 2018 at 7:21 am

    • You are obviously ignorant of the facts, Robert Hill. Crawl back into your hole. Justice will prevail once and for all and individuals such as you will be shamed.

      May Jessie

      December 12, 2018 at 10:29 am

      • Those ARE facts. Even if you don’t like them. I didn’t say that anything Illegal took place. When a 30 year old male has sex with a 17 year old female who is behaving oddly then a breach of ethics has taken place. The fact that he is a police officer trained in the psychology of dealing with people and establishing facts, makes it much less forgivable. His friend failed to advise him not to make a bad decision. That’s what friends are supposed to do. That’s what police officers are trained to do. I agree that being prevented from leaving Cuba now that the trial is over is unjust. Injustice happens. Especially when we do stupid things.
        Explain how the above statement is not factual.

        Robert Hill

        December 12, 2018 at 6:57 pm

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