South Florida Sun-Sentinel staff writer Jon Burstein reports in an article entitled “State drops case against Boynton officer accused of molesting family member.” Excerpt:
Criminal charges against a Boynton Beach police sergeant accused of molesting a family member have been dropped, the State Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday.
Any case against Sgt. Frank Ranzie would rest solely on the inconsistent testimony of an alleged victim who might have a motive to lie, prosecutor Andrew Slater wrote. Without any physical evidence or other witnesses, Slater concluded he couldn’t successfully prosecute Ranzie.
Defense attorney Michael Salnick said the decision ends a devastating two months for the 13-year officer, who works in Internal Affairs. He was arrested April 19 by Palm Beach County sheriff’s detectives based on the accusation. Salnick had argued that the family member made up the accounts of being molested in retaliation for being disciplined.
While Ranzie was briefly put on paid leave after the arrest, he recently has been handling administrative duties and will continue doing that until an Internal Affairs investigation is completed, said Boynton Beach police Lt. Wendy Danysh.
Danysh said Tuesday that she didn’t know if the internal investigation will consider that Ranzie failed a voluntary polygraph test when asked about the alleged molestation.
Salnick said polygraphs are notoriously unreliable and that sheriff’s detectives rushed the investigation. He declined to explain how detectives may have mishandled the case.
After Ranzie failed a polygraph, he was secretly videotaped in a sheriff’s interview room saying he didn’t know why he failed it and talked about how his life would be ruined, [prosecutor Andrew] Slater wrote.
Sgt. Ranzie’s polygraph experience serves as a reminder that anyone accused of a crime should never voluntarily submit to a polygraph “test.”