New Charges, New Trial Date for Fugitive Cop Arrested on St. Thomas

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A Tennessee judge sets a new trial date for a former Memphis cop accused of depriving a crime victim of her civil rights in 2000.(Shutterstock image)

The trial of a former University of the Virgin Islands employee, arrested as a fugitive by federal authorities, has been delayed by the filing of new charges. A hearing was held Tuesday in the District Court of Western Tenessee for the defendant who was known here by the name Oluwafemi Banjoko; now charged with civil rights violations.

New charges were brought in a superseding indictment filed in late February against Banjoko — formerly known as  Memphis police officer Bridges Randle Jr.  He was originally scheduled to stand trial March 13 in connection with a June 24, 2000 incident involving sexual assault allegedly committed while he was on duty.

He was arrested by FBI agents on St. Thomas on June 14, 2022, while traveling to work at the UVI St. Thomas campus. The school administration released a statement after the arrest, saying Banjoko was employed after his application was screened by a third-party hiring service.

University officials said they had no knowledge about any criminal activity. Investigators said after he left the Memphis Police Department the defendant underwent two legal name changes and around 2018, moved to the Virgin Islands.

Court documents filed in Tennessee in February suggested that prosecutors were prepared to add new charges in the case.  Randle is now accused of depriving a person of their rights while acting under color of the law, a violation of U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 242 (F).

Specifics in the case are similar to those spelled out in the original indictment filed June 9, 2022; that while on duty and assigned to interview a female crime victim, sexual contact allegedly took place between the officer and the victim without the victim’s permission.

After making an initial appearance before District Court Judge Sheryl Lipman on Tuesday, the former cop was given a new trial date of July 17. The judge also rejected a motion to dismiss by Randle’s defense attorney, claiming too much time had passed since the alleged offense occurred.