“I would advise them not to take rides from anybody,” she said.
The 21-year-old gave details of her ordeal in an exclusive interview with St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today, Tuesday, May 13.
She told SNO that she closed her small business around midnight Saturday and left the premises in the company of her last customer.
Both females had no choice but to hitchhike. The victim said her boyfriend was in Castries at the time and her father’s vehicle had mechanical problems.
The women were however able to get a ride from a male stranger who dropped them at “the La Ressource gap”.
The victim told SNO that they both walked to the Richfond gap where they soon parted company.
“The girl walked up to her home because she did not live too far from the Richfond gap. I decided to wait for a ride because I was a little bit tired and I had a good bit of walking to do to get to my home,” she explained.
In addition, her home, which she shares with her boyfriend, is located a “good distance” along a lonely path of banana plantations, trees and bushes.
Tired and confident of getting a ride – something she has been doing for three years – the woman told SNO she waited patiently.
“That is something I do almost every day… It never came across my mind that a situation like this would happen. I have never experienced anything close to it,” she said.
The victim did not have to wait long before a car came into sight. At first the vehicle looked familiar so she signaled it to stop.
“I thought it was a guy I knew but I realised it was not him, but I really needed a ride,” she said.
There was nothing immediately suspicious. She observed only one person on board – the driver. The front door windows were down but the backdoor windows were up and heavily tinted. She said “good night” and he gave the same response.
The car was quiet until “about 50 seconds later” when “I felt somebody touching me on the back of my neck”.
“When I tried to look back, he pushed my head so I couldn’t see who touched me,” she told SNO.
Things got worst. “One put a knife to my neck and another put a gun to my head,” she said.
One of the perpetrators at her back also blocked her eyes. She recalled the driver saying nothing, but kept on driving while the men carried out their terror on the helpless passenger.
She cried as the men asked her what she had in her possession. She continued to beg for her life as they proceeded to tell her to “shut the [email protected]#%^ up”.
According to the woman, she told them to take “anything they want” but not to kill her. The men eventually took her bag which contained over $300 worth of cash, a Blackberry cell phone and other items.
“I couldn’t see anything but I knew where they brought me,” she noted.
The final destination of the crime was not too far from where she was picked up. It was the entrance to a small road among the banana plantation.
They pulled her out of the car and raped her in the bushes – all three of them. The ordeal lasted about 40 minutes.
“They didn’t beat me because I gave them what they wanted. I begged them not to kill me,” said the terrified woman.
She disclosed that the men asked each other for condoms. Only one condom was available but eventually all three had sexual intercourse with her, without protection.
She was not able to identify any of the men because they used her bra to cover her eyes during the whole episode, plus it was dark.
She was then released and told to walk away.
“After they raped me they let me go lower down so I could put on my clothes but I did not go on the road I ran through the banana plantation,” she said.
She ran through the bushes naked, holding her bra and clothes, so frightened that she forgot her shoes and panty at the scene of the crime.
She ran until she saw a utility pole at the side of the road with a garage nearby. She waited a few minutes to see if any car would pass, then when she thought it was clear, she dashed across the road in the direction of the garage.
She knocked on a door, and a man she described as a security guard, came to her assistance. She told him what happened and proceeded to take a wash-off under a pipe.
“I stayed under the pipe for 20 minutes because my body was itching all over because I ran through the grass and bush,” she explained.
After she had gotten dressed, the security guard accompanied her to the road where she got a ride from a man she knew. She asked to be taken to the home of her boyfriend’s parents. The matter was reported to police and she was taken to St. Jude Hospital for medical examination and treatment.
“I am still worried,” she told SNO. She said though she was given a “morning-after pill” to prevent pregnancy, she is still worried about getting an STD.
“Right now I am still in shock … right now it’s still like I am in a dream,” she said in disbelief.
From now on, the rape victim said she plans to leave work earlier and “if I don’t get a ride I will stay at my mother’s home”.
“Sometimes my father drops me home but at that time (night of the incident) when I called him the vehicle had a problem and my boyfriend was not around,” she explained.
She advises people, especially females, to stop taking rides from strangers.
“Obviously, I am going to be more careful,” she said.
Police are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made to date.