It warms my heart when a judge expresses great concern for a victim in a high lethality situation. And when he or she keeps the no contact order in place even when the victim asks to have contact.
The defendant was arrested on 10/14/10 for kidnapping, robbery, domestic battery, and tampering with a victim/witness to hinder communication with law enforcement. Mr. Ramroop allegedly abducted his victim as she was leaving a night class at Valencia State College, threatened to stab her in the neck and up her nose with a pen as he was taking her to his car, stole cash and her cell phone, and threatened to kill her. He allegedly drove her to their apartment, battered her, and ultimately returned her to the VCC parking lot. Throughout the ordeal, he repeatedly abused her verbally. He also stated, "You think a restraining order will stop me? I'll find you, I'll kill off your family one by one" and "I'll leave a bloody mess for you to clean up."
In addition to requesting contact with the victim, Mr. Ramroop requested that his GPS monitor be removed because the cost ($84/week) was a hardship due to his unemployment.
The victim, a very petite woman who sought an injunction immediately after the incident (which was later dismissed due to her failure to appear), testified that she is no longer afraid of the defendant. Judge Rand Wallis asked her several probing questions about their children and any prior incidents. He read an email that the assigned prosecutor, Pamela Smith, sent to the Court about how high the defendant scored on the lethality indicators test (Ms. Smith had a colleague covering for her in this hearing). The defendant has, on at least one occasion, threatened suicide - an extremely big red flag.
When I hear that, and particularly when there are small children involved, I am alarmed for the victim and their children. Because once someone decides to commit suicide, they have nothing to lose and are much more likely to try to "take their loved one(s)" with them. Or prevent anyone else from "having" their "loved one(s)."
Judge Wallis denied the defendant's motion without prejuduce, stating that he would like to hear testimony from the police officer who administered the questionnaire (which occurred at 3:00 AM immediately after the incident) to the victim in order to more accurately assess her testimony.
CourtWatch commends Judge Wallis and Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Smith for trying to keep this victim from becoming another name on the fatality list that we maintain. If this was school, they'd both get an A+ for the way they handled this case.
It is our hope that Mr. Ramroop's victim in this case will seek counseling from Harbor House as this case works its way through the court system.
To see what a threat assessment questionnaire includes, or to perform your own free domestic violence assessement online, visit the Mosaic Threat Assessment website.
If you are in an abusive relationship, we urge you to seek the assistance of a trained advocate at your local domestic violence shelter in order to develop a personalized safety plan. Seventy-five percent (75%) of fatalities occur with the victim attempts to leave an abusive relationship. Most of those victims attempted to do so without a comprehensive safety plan in place.
2/4/11: The State dropped the charges against Mr. Ramroop after the victim declined to participate in the prosecution.