(St. Lucia News Online) — A police source has called on members of the public to desist from further circulating the name and photo of the woman who was allegedly raped and robbed in Soufriere on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
The source is also calling on the public to do likewise regarding the male individual accused of the crime.
The source added that it is an offence under the laws of Saint Lucia to reveal the identity of rape victims or disclose any information that can result in the identification of such victims.
Reports are that a male was arrested after police investigated a rape and robbery incident that occurred in Soufriere on Saturday.
It is also reported that the perpetrator stole groceries leaving only one tin of sausage.
No other information is available.
“The accused has not been charged and he is innocent until proven guilty,” the source said. “Circulating his photo and name on social media is illegal and defamatory. And even if he is charged and or found guilty, releasing his identity could compromise the identity of the female victim, which is an act in itself illegal as well under State laws.”
Persons on social media have expressed outrage that the accused woman’s privacy has been compromised and the photos should be removed, while others are concerned that the man’s photo hasn’t been circulated enough, whether he is guilty or not.
“The victim’s face is being plastered everywhere on social media but we need the same to be done to the alleged rapist. 4 a.m. what you going and do at the person home, and after you do your act, you taking all her groceries and leaving her with one tin of sausage. God alone know cuz, honestly, you wouldn’t be seeing the sunset today,” someone wrote.
But another person said the alleged rapist’s photo is all over social media: “The rapist photo is out everywhere on WhatsApp.”
Another expressed sadness about the situation: “I hope they charge him for breaking the curfew after the rape charge. My people, I have lost all faith in humanity. We need prayers….smh.”
Others also commented in favour of the photos being removed from circulation or just to plain, STOP IT:
“And for the persons circulating the woman’s pic on social media, have some compassion and STOP IT.”
“Good job officers. Poor girl now has to deal with this and her pics being posted all over social media.”
“And those people who are circulating the young lady’s photo, please stop. Think of yourself and plus it’s against the law. Really really insensitive.”
However, one person has defended the accused, saying the man is innocent: “That’s not true. The man never raped the woman or tried to rape her and this is why it is a law to don’t spread pictures due to the nature of the crime cause since the man didn’t rape the woman and his name out he raped, he could basically take all of y’all to court for slander.”