A foreign national, who was the victim of rape and kidnapping in Saint Lucia on Nov. 22, 2008, has expressed disappointment with the local court system and believes the names of persons charged and/or convicted for the crime should be revealed to the public.
In an exclusive interview with St. Lucia News Online (SNO), the woman expressed disappointment that her case has been dragging on for seven years and counting while the attacker is free, after being granted $10,000 bail.
“My case is at High Court. It has been adjourned numerous times, many due to him not having a lawyer to represent him,” she said.
The woman approached SNO after learning about the increased reports of rape incidents on island. She said she is “mortified” by the recent reports.
“I am desperately afraid for every female on the island. From baby to old age. I believe that rape is like a death sentence for the victim, even after so-called recovery,” she said.
The victim said the issue of rape needs “highlighting”.
“People need to be made aware of who to avoid. The rapists are ruining the life of the country,” she said.
The names of rape victims and their accused are not permitted to be released under local laws, mainly to protect the privacy of the victims.
The victim’s mother also spoke with SNO. She too is not pleased that the pace of the court case.
She said the accused is “free to carry on with his life while my daughter still suffers following his brutal attack on her”.
“Seven years is too long to wait for justice while this man is free to rape again,” she said.
Both mother and daughter have expressed willingness to assist the local authorities in the investigation of rape cases.
The island was rocked in recent times by the rape of a 97-year-old woman in Mon Repos, Micoud and the gang rape of two 16-year-old girls in Rodney Bay, Gros-Islet.
Police said over 60 cases of rape have been reported since the start of the year.
In the Third Quarter Crime Statistics Report 2015 it was revealed that sexual offences and crimes against persons were the only major crime categories which recorded an increased number of accepted cases.