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News Brief: 2 Police Officers Plead Innocent to Kidnaping, Assault

Jan. 20, 2005 — Two police officers pled innocent in Superior Court on Thursday to kidnaping and assault charges.
Bill John Baptiste, 33, and Dorian Foster, 35, were arrested last week
and released on US$300,000 bail, according to court records.
Prosecutors say Baptiste, Foster, fellow police officer Elvis David, 43, and an unidentified fourth man forced their 26-year-old victim into a car Dec. 7, 2002 and beat him with a bat while driving to an isolated dock in Crown Bay, St. Thomas.
The victim escaped by diving into the sea and hiding on a nearby barge. He had injuries to his head, eye, legs and torso.
David pleaded innocent Jan. 13 to the same charges, kidnapping, assault and conspiracy, and was released on US$300,000 bail after his Jan. 3 arrest.
Their trial is scheduled to start in April in Virgin Islands Superior Court. The motive for the attack was unclear, but it may have resulted from a feud between the victim and members of the officer's Masonic lodge, according to court records.
Investigators were still seeking a fourth man in the kidnapping, but have declined to say whether he is a police officer.
If found guilty, the officers could face 25 years in prison.
All three have been on administrative leave since the incident, and the
Police Department is in the process of firing them, Novelle Francis Jr., territorial Police chief, said.

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