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Guilty of loving and trusting women

by Maria Bradshaw

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MONICA WALCOTT  says her son Mark  is no child molester.“The only thing my son is guilty of is loving women and trusting them. He is  a decent, respectful person who never sees the bad  in anyone,” she stated.She was reacting to the situation in which Mark Walcott, 41, is presently on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds awaiting extradition to the United States. He is expected  to serve a 51-month sentence imposed on him by a Florida court seven years ago on a charge involving a 14-year-old girl. Instead of serving the time, he left Florida and returned to Barbados. But his freedom came  to an end last month  when he was arrested  by local authorities.He was accused in Florida, that sometime between July 1, 2001, and February 28, 2008, he intentionally touched the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks of a child less than 16 years, or the clothes covering them in a lewd or lascivious manner  or that he forced or enticed the girl to touch him.But Monica said that her son’s actions towards the girl in question were not intentional but that he was in a situation where he was being physically attacked and he retaliated.  But she stated that  a complaint was made against her son only after he ended the relationship with the girl’s mother.  She added that she was convinced of her son’s innocence because she intercepted a telephone conversation where  money was being demanded from him.Monica said after several court appearances her son was “ill advised” by his public defender to plead “no contest”. “Mark was confused.  He thought that by pleading no contest he wasn’t saying that he was guilty or not guilty. But this is misleading because after spending time in jail, he would have been deported,” she said.She stated when her son realised what he had done, he decided to leave the United States and return to Barbados. He had been living there since age 12.Walcott, who emigrated to the United States 39 years ago taking her four children with her, said until that unfortunate incident, her son had never been involved with the law in the United States.“I lived in some very tough places in the United States, but I brought up my children not to get involved in anything around them. All Mark ever did was fall in love with the wrong women. He came back  to Barbados, and he  found a job and kept out  of trouble.”Monica said she was hoping that the United States would not proceed with the extradition because the charge was  not a federal one.