A police officer was found guilty of sexually assaulting a male coworker when, after telling the other officer that he had a “sizeable package,” he grabbed the victim’s penis over his pants following a wild night out.
PC James Holt, a 32-year-old member of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) from Wigan, Greater Manchester, left his victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, feeling “violated.”
In April of last year, Holt and the officer went out with other trainees in Manchester, according to testimony presented before Liverpool & Knowsley Magistrates’ Court.
Some of the group had gone to the Barca Bar earlier in the evening, but Holt was forced to leave because he was so “intoxicated,” prosecutor Louise McCloskey told the court.
Together, they travelled to the Rain Bar in Manchester’s city centre. But while they were walking there, Holt informed the victim that he had a “large penis.”
Before grasping his penis over his pants, he allegedly informed his colleague officer that he had a “sizeable package,” Ms. McCloskey said.
When the victim reported being groped to a female coworker, she said, “He best not do it to any of the females.” Holt then touched his penis a second time.
Holt contacted his victim later that night and kept asking him, “Do you know something?” The court heard that she poked him in the chest.
The victim testified that while everyone in the party had been drinking, Holt’s degree of intoxication was greater and his behaviour was improper.
The cop said, “He was claiming that I had a massive penis without knowing anything about it.”
At first, I assumed he was kidding, but the discussion went on.
I just attempted to brush it off and resume regular conversation.
He grabbed my crotch after declaring that I had a huge package. Over my pants, he placed his hand on my penis.
When asked how he felt thereafter by Ms. McCloskey, the officer said, “I was taken aback, I felt molested.”
He continued by saying that he did not know why Holt kept prodding him hard in the chest and asking him if he “knew anything.”
The court heard that two days after the incident, Holt apologised to his victim through a group WhatsApp chat channel named “Big Time Cops” even though he did not recall much of the night out.
It’s no issue, buddy, the police officer had said. Don’t stress about it.
Although Holt’s assigned coworker eventually informed supervisors, the officer originally chose not to pursue a complaint.
Following the filing of a formal complaint with the force’s professional standards division, Holt was taken into custody.
The defendant’s attorney, Julia Smart KC, said that Holt, who is straight and has a partner, was not the target of the victim’s allegation since he did not think it was a big thing.
Although she did not call Holt’s actions a sexual assault, she did call them “inappropriate, horseplay or banter.”
The victim said that processing what had transpired had taken some time, and he had not “feeling comfortable” about filing a report.
After a two-day trial, Holt, who had first disputed the accusation of sexual assault, was found guilty.
The conviction was handed down by district judge Timothy Roswell, who also granted him unrestricted bail until his October 31 sentence.
According to GMP, Holt has been given limited responsibilities, and misconduct investigations will resume after the criminal case has been resolved.