A very serious allegation of assault has exploded in the face of Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber.
According to a leaked police report published online and obtained by PLUS News, a Ministry of Education staff member, 25 year old Nickesha Polanco, told Police in Ladyville that she was having her birthday party at the Minister’s residence in Lords’ Bank Village this past Saturday, when between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m., the Minister reportedly requested her cell phone which she was using, and when she refused to give it to him, she was choked and punched twice to the right side of the face, in full view of a friend who tried to intervene.
But the complaint has been withdrawn, according to the Minister, who candidly told reporters in Belize City on Monday, that he and the woman remain friends and there is no story, to the dismay of some opponents.
“Of course there are people who would want to fuel this, and I speak particularly of one individual, who at the time of the situation with my wife in fact, made all kinds of charges, wrote up a lot of nonsense in a report ,and is seeking to do so again.
I want for the record to say to people that I try to be an upstanding citizen. I am human and I have a personal life. I am a young man. I’m not an old man. I am thirty-six years old. While I understand fully that I am a public figure, I do have private activities in my life.
It is true that if a complaint is made then it is the business of the public. That complaint has been withdrawn. As far as I know the Police doesn’t have any issues with me. The young lady that you speak of has no issues with me certainly, and in an effort to try to protect whatever friendship is there too, I won’t say anything more than that. But there is no issue left in the balance, so that people have to be concerned.”
The Minister is presently separated from his wife of ten years, who has allegedly filed for divorce. He declined to get into the exact details of what happened at the party, warning that he does have a personal life beyond his political one.
“That is a loaded statement that you’ve just made.
I’m not going to get into the details, for the mere matter that you or anybody else may well twist and turn things, trying to smear my character. It’s very difficult to do that. I try to be very outstanding in all that I do, and as I’ve said the matter that occurred is a private matter. It is only public if there is an issue with the police. There is no such issue any longer, and I hope that people, and you in the media, will respect that.”
The Minister went on to defend his personal relationship with Nickesha Polanco, saying he has made every effort to keep it aboveboard.
“I did not intervene in the matter in the way that people or that you are suggesting at all. As far as I know the reason why it was withdrawn is because in the first place it did not happen in the manner in which it was reported.”
“Can you say how exactly it happened? Did you hit anyone?”
“No I won’t. I said I would not get into the details, for the matter of the friendship that exists. We don’t have any kind of animosity, and I want it to stay that way.”
“Categorically, did you hit the young lady?”
“I’m saying it did not happen in the manner in which it was reported.”
“Which means her employment is not at all threatened?”
“But why would that come into effect? She does not work in my immediate office, let me say that first of all. but there is no crime in that. Certainly if it is that Jules Vasquez was indicating just now that I may have had some kind of inappropriate relationship with her from the time she was very young, man that’s nonsense. That’s absolute nonsense.”
Earlier this year the Minister broke his estranged wife’s car’s window after an argument, and got into a traffic accident with a Police vehicle, but both cases were settled without charges.
It is alleged that officials of the Ministry were invited to and were present at the party. Mr Faber, however, insisted that the report is a smear campaign initiated by Rhenae Nunez, journalist who has been provocative in her coverage of the current administration. He cut the interview short after repeatedly maintaining that he would not get into details of either his relationship with Nickesha Polanco, or the incident at the party, out of respect for Miss Polanco, who has reportedly gone on her own campaign attacking individuals on Facebook, for publishing the leaked photo.
He said he does not expect to be disciplined by the United Democratic Party for his actions. As we mentioned, Miss Polanco withdrew the complaint and according to police, that is the end of the matter as far as they are concerned.
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez told us as much on Monday.
“A report was made in deed and was subsequently withdrawn.”
“Could you tell us the substance of that report, or could you give us any information at all about that report?”
“A report was made and it was withdrawn. Hence meaning that it does not exist.”
Police refused to be engaged on the exact timeline between the lodging and withdrawal of the complaint. Whatever investigations were done, if any, have been dropped because of the withdrawal of the complaint. Mr Martinez explains that the Domestic Violence Unit is called in whenever complaints of this nature are made, but they are not needed here.
“If it warrants it and she or he, whoever it is, wants to make a report, we’re here. We answer whatever report, and we try as best as possible to follow it up as well. We’re open across the board. If you have a report that has been withdrawn, we cannot comment on it, simple.”
“Could you tell us if the police did any investigation at all in relation to that report?”
“If a report has been withdrawn, you cannot investigate a report that has been withdrawn. That’s it.”
“That’s why I’m asking you about the timeline. If it was withdrawn at night, or withdrawn on Sunday or withdrawn this morning, then there was a space of time for an investigation.”
“Suffice to say, sir, that it was withdrawn.”