Probation Officer #165: The Samoan Minister 2

Jane Siebel got Ana to tell Maynard about Greg Curnow’s harassment, leading up the rape threat and his planting drugs in her room.

Ana took a long deep breath, and began to speak. She spoke about being afraid, but she let her anger show. She told the story coldly, giving dates and locations, when she could, and mentioning when there were witnesses who’d be prepared to back her up. She kept the emotion reined in. It wasn’t hidden but it was background. It’s odd that people are most credible when they fake their emotional state. Ana was acting much calmer and colder than she was, or any reasonable person would be under the circumstances, and that worked. I was surprised she knew to do that. I was proud of her.

Maynard listened to her story once, and then he took her through it again, this time being aggressively skeptical, interrupting her and trying to push her into contradicting herself. This isn’t how a male police official is supposed to be dealing with a young woman who was, among other things, reporting a sexual crime. I wasn’t happy with him but Jane didn’t intervene. So I followed her judgment and kept quiet.

I had warned Ana that Maynard’d be likely to do something like that, and explained why: it wouldn’t mean he disbelieved her or wanted her to go away. He’d be making a quick judgment on whether he had a credible complainant he could call on in Court if Curnow didn’t resign quietly.

Ana kept her answers simple and she stayed consistent. He couldn’t get a contradiction or an angry retort out of her. I was already on her side, but I was pretty sure I’d have been won over if that was the first time I’d heard the story. When Maynard said, “huh” and leaned back in his chair I could see that Ana was physically shaky, but her story hadn’t been shaken at all. We sat in silence for a few seconds. I had an odd feeling that Maynard wanted a cigarette. 

Jane took over then, and we began the dealing that meant Curnow wouldn’t be back in a uniform or getting paid, before he was discharged from the LAPD. 

All this only took half an hour, though it seemed as if we’d covered a lot of ground and been in that room for much longer. Maynard switched his phone back on and stood up. He nodded at Jane, and left. He was clearly going to have to do something that would make Jane and I happy, so he might as well be rude about it.

Once he’d gone Jane leaned over and gave Ana a hug. She’d have her under for wing for a few hours, while they got a court order saying that Curnow had to stay away. 

Jock made no comment. He said I’d see him at the office, later. Which meant he wasn’t setting up a meeting. Then he and I both drove to the Probation Service. I had no idea what mood I’d find him in when we got there.

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