Officer of the Year Facing Life in Prison On Multiple Charges of Raping Children
Article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.
Monterey County, CA — A highly decorated officer was arrested last week on a slew of horrific charges all involving forced sex with children. Presidio of Monterey police officer Barney Joseph Ramnauth had the entire community fooled.
According to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, last week, Ramnauth was arrested on suspicion of sodomizing a child younger than 10 years and a slew of other alleged sexual acts, some forced, with a child nearly two decades ago.
On top of the District Attorney’s Office, the Superior Court records show that Ramnauth was also arrested on suspicion of forced acts with a child younger than 14; and aggravated assault-child sexual acts.
According to Assistant District Attorney Steve Moore, Ramnauth, 48, is an officer at the Army installation. Two years ago, this suspected child rapist was awarded the Monterey County Peace Officers Association highest honor, Officer of the Year.
While the warrant for Ramnauth’s arrest was issued on December 1, there is no record of his arrest in court documents or an online inmate locator, according to Mercury News.
According to the California penal code, Ramnauth faces the potential of life in prison for the minimum of seven felonies of which he stands accused stemming back from as far as 1998.
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sgt. Chris Clark, spokesman for Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, said the agency is investigating.
Officers of the year, as the Free Thought Project has pointed out time and again, raping, murdering, and molesting, is nothing new.
In May, in an unprecedented sentence for a police officer, a former cop with the Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie police departments, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of child exploitation. Micheal Edwin Harding was named Officer of the Year in 2011, when he was an officer at the Fort Pierce Police Department.
Despite being accused of sexual assault back in 2007, Champaign Police Officer Jerad Gale was given his department’s highest honor in March. On March 30, Gale was named Champaign’s Officer of the Year.
Just three months later he would be arrested for strangling and raping two more women.
A former Houston Police Department ‘Officer of the Year’ award winner, Noe Juarez, was arrested last year and was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to possess firearms connected with a drug trafficking offense and conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine.
Jonathan Bleiweiss, 34, pleaded guilty to an array of charges last year, admitting to 14 counts of armed false imprisonment, 15 counts of battery and four counts of stalking. However, he avoided all of the charges with “sex” in them.
Most likely due to his police officer status, this former Broward Sheriff’s deputy was given an insultingly lenient plea deal. As part of that deal, Bleiweiss did not face charges of sexual battery, and as such will not be required by the state of Florida to register as a sex offender.
A group of approximately 20 undocumented immigrants alleged that Bleiweiss, harassed them, molested them during pat-downs, and threatened them with deportation if they refused to perform sex acts. Bleiweiss was named officer of the year just prior to being exposed as a sexual predator.
As the Free Thought Project reported last November, an investigation by the AP revealed around 1,000 policemen across the US had their licenses revoked and lost their jobs over the last six years on account of numerous sexual offenses that included rape and possession of child pornography.
The probe revealed that 550 officers were decertified for various sexual assaults, including rape. Some were dismissed for sodomy or sexual shakedowns, where victims were forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest.
A further 440 officers lost their jobs for other sex-related offenses, such as possessing child pornography, being a peeping Tom, sending sexually charged messages to underage teens or having sex while on duty.
About one-third of the officers lost their jobs for committing sexual offenses with juveniles.
The real number of sexual offenses could, however, be much higher, as AP only looked into registered cases where an officer lost their badge because of an offense. Lawyers and police chiefs acknowledged that some departments let the sexual assaults slide to limit their liability, allowing their staff to quietly resign or transfer to other duty stations or departments.
Furthermore, the probe notes that not all decertified officers faced criminal charges as some policemen surrendered their badges voluntarily to avoid a potential scandal.