Prominent Dominican attorney and former member of the Dominica Parliament Joshua Francis has filed a lawsuit against police officer Judy Ettinoff Anslem, acting deputy police chief Davidson Valerie and the attorney general of Dominica.
The lawsuit filed on June 10, 2021, alleges malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, breach of privacy, confidence, statutory duty, constitutional rights, and pre-trial prejudice.
According to his statement of claim, on Thursday March 3, 2016 he visited the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Roseau at the request of an officer at the CID through his solicitor concerning an alleged report of “indecent assault of a minor.”
On arrival at the Police Station at about 2pm, he was “arrested” and told to sit on a bench in the CID designated for “criminally accused persons” and was told by Anslem and Valerie that “he could not leave the police station.”
He was questioned by Anslem and at all material, times denied the allegations for which he was arrested and or caused to be arrested.
He goes on to state that late in the evening he requested his release to return the following day but instead was placed in a cell at police headquarters in the “absence of reasonable and probable cause.”
The cell in which he was placed was “hot, dirty and filled with stale human urine, excrete, waste food, and garbage causing the Claimant (Joshua Francis) significant pain, distress, and discomfort.”
His claim states further that he remained in the cell for (7) seven hours and kept in police custody for 28 hours before being released on station bail.
“I could not sleep because of the mental, psychological anguish and distress I experienced by an arrest and detention lacking reasonable and probable cause without evidence to support the subject complaint,” he stated.
The matter also became the subject of public debate contrary to section 38 of the Sexual Offences Act 1 of 1998.
He labels the decision of the Defendants to prosecute him as “motivated by malice” because there was no evidence against him and there was significant exculpatory evidence that would have caused any reasonable investigating officer not to charge him.”
He claims exemplary and aggravated damages for the “unlawful and malicious conduct of the Defendants causing harm to family, personal and his professional reputation.”
Also, he claims medical expenses (counseling) of $2,000.00, the legal cost of $30,000.00, pain and suffering, special damages, social and economic loss as a husband and professional among others and further or other relief as the court deems fit including cost.
He is represented in the matter by Ronald Charles & Associates.