Local USVI News

UVI Says it Had No Knowledge of Employee’s Criminal Warrant; Background Check Was Performed by Third-Party Firm

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ST. THOMAS — The University of the Virgin Islands in a statement provided to the Consortium Tuesday evening said it had no knowledge that one of its employees had an outstanding criminal warrant.

The statement follows a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding the Tuesday arrest of Bridges Randle, age 47 of Memphis, TN, who is also known as “Ajamu Abiola Banjoko” and “Oluwafemi Abiola Banjoko”. UVI said it utilized the services of a third-party firm to perform a background check on Randle, who according to his LinkedIn profile is employed as a contract and grants specialist at the university.

His arrest Tuesday stems from a federal indictment which charges Randle with committing a civil rights offense that included aggravated sexual abuse. 

According to court records, Randle is charged with sexually assaulting a woman while he was on duty as a police officer with the Memphis Police Department. According to the indictment, Randle sexually assaulted the woman after he was dispatched to a vandalism call at her residence on June 24, 2000. Randle was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents as he was on his way to work at the University of the Virgin Islands Tuesday morning.

If convicted, Randle faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

In its statement, UVI said, “The University of the Virgin has no comment on the arrest of Bridges [Randle], who was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation today. According to the release from the US Attorney’s Office of the District of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Oluwafemi Banjoko is an alias of [Randle]. Prior to hiring Dr. Banjoko, the University used a third-party service to conduct a background check. The University had no knowledge of any criminal warrant. UVI has immediately convened an investigation into this matter. Banjoko has been suspended pending the University’s investigation and the case in District Court. UVI thanks the US Attorney’s Office for their work on this case. The University takes these matters seriously and it is our highest priority to ensure the safety of the UVI community.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI Memphis Field Office and is being prosecuted by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. United States Attorney Smith reminds the public that a criminal complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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