In a voluntary written statement to police a camp medic, accused of touching an 11-year-old boy inappropriately, said “If I did it, I am not aware of doing it”.
Lead investigator Kevin Howard gave that evidence today before the jury hearing the indecent assault case against Rico Renaldo Edwards, of Sargeant’s Park, Foul Bay, St Philip who is accused of committing the act on May 24, 2015.
The child was attending a Cub zzzScout camp at a primary school in St Philip when the incident allegedly occurred.
Officer Howard, who was called by state prosecutor Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney, read the contents of the statement this afternoon before Madam Justice Pamela Beckles who is presiding over the No. 5 Supreme Court.
In it the accused stated that he had been contacted on May 22 by a man connected to the camp to lend assistance. He said he played the role of camp medic and sometimes dealt with road safety when the children left the compound on foot.
Edwards told police that on May 23, he and the man who had requested his assistance, entered a room at the school and the man proceeded to quiet the boys and get them to go to sleep.
He said he sat on the floor, got “drowsy” and “went off to sleep”.
While sleeping however he was awoken by the same man who informed him that one of his feet was in the complainant’s face. He sat up and saw the boy looking at him.
“I told him I was sorry and asked if he was okay he said ‘yes sir’,” wrote Edwards who said the next thing he remembered was that the same man woke him again and took him downstairs the next morning.
“On arriving downstairs [the boy] was with the sergeant. I thought it was a medical situation. I saw [the boy] trembling.
“The camp leader asked him what happened, [the boy] was crying and trembling. He said that ‘he played with my balls and penis’. I told him if I did do that I am sorry. If I did it I am not aware of doing it”, the statement read.
Following the statement Edwards was asked a series of follow up questions among which was why he thought the child was trembling and crying.
He replied, “Because what he is saying might be true.”
Asked whether the child’s statement ‘he played with my balls and penis,’ was directed towards him, Edwards replied, “No. no, he didn’t . . . . I did not fondle him. I only pulled him onto his sleeping bag because he was hitting and kicking the other person.”
But Edwards said he did not give that information in his statement because he did not “feel” it was “relevant”.
He also denied being attracted to males.
Officer Howard said the accused was then asked, “Have you ever been attracted to males?” to which he replied “yes sir”.
At what age, he was asked, and Edwards said “six to eight years old”, the court heard.
He also denied telling the boy he had nice hair but said he did brush the child’s hair after telling him “you don’t brush the hair against the grain”.
In cross examination by Edwards’ attorney Kevin Miller, the lead investigator stated that several other boys who were present at the camp were also spoken with but they did not add anything useful to the investigation as they were all sleeping at the time.
The case continues on Tuesday.