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Jun 30, 2006

Cop accused of carnal knowledge acquitted

In the midst of unabated reports of sex crimes against children, tonight there is news that a former police officer who was allegedly caught red handed molesting a minor has been acquitted of the crime. After deliberating for approximately two and a half hours this afternoon, the jury returned with a not guilty verdict for twenty-six year old Wilbert Lanza. Lanza was arrested and charged with having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Caye Caulker on June sixth, 2005. According to court reports, on that date Lanza allegedly asked the teen to meet him at his sister-in-law’s house. When the minor arrived, the two went into a room and had sex. But another constable was tipped off about the goings on and the officer testified that when she entered the house, she found the girl half-naked with Lanza. Because police regulations prevented her from arresting Lanza herself, she alerted a superior officer and Lanza was later taken into custody. But what had appeared to be a slam dunk case quickly unravelled as it was later revealed that no evidence was collected from the scene and no hair or semen samples were taken from the accused perpetrator. Six witnesses were called by the prosecution, including the victim, the arresting officer, and the W.P.C. who discovered the duo. The case was prosecuted by Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt, while Lanza acted in his own defence.

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