Mother breaks silence about sex case

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The mother of the teen who was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a policeman in 2016, said the journey to the day earlier this week when the child told the court she did not want the case to be pursued, has been a very long and hard one.
The 45-year-old woman made it clear from the start of the interview that she did not and still does not support the decision and, she said she believes her 13-year-old daughter may not have made such a decision if a longer time had elapsed between the time of the offence and when the case became ready for court.
Speaking exclusively with OBSERVER media, the mother said, “Months ago right, she said to me, we were talking, and she said to me she didn’t want to go through. I tell her like this, you know that this is a very serious situation, a serious matter and she said know it was a serious matter. I told her she can’t just say she don’t want to go through with this case,” the woman recalled.
The mother said she even asked the child what would she do if she were to be attacked again or if someone else was attacked by the same man she has accused of kidnapping and raping her – whether she would blame herself.
“I asked her if she would like him to do this to somebody else and she said no. I started to pray about it and I prayed for her and I prayed and asked God for guidance. I don’t try to pressure her because this is a very, very serious and delicate situation,” the woman said.          
From the time a letter the child wrote detailing the alleged attack started making rounds on social media before the officer was arrested, the child has been “traumatised.”
The mother said the entire incident has changed her daughter to the point she not only cut off her hair, but she also started wetting her bed.
“Some people don’t understand how sensitive rape is. Some people don’t know how rape destroys a person internally especially when it happens at a tender age. It don’t just affect you physically. It affects you psychologically, socially, emotionally, it affects your self-esteem, your self-concept, it affects your spirit and soul,” she said.
According to her, her daughter is “no longer herself” and “she don’t want try” to do anything.
The mother said she would have been happy if her daughter had pursued the case, or “maybe” even if someone else had forcibly made her testify even if it hurt her initially. The woman said if this had been done “maybe” the child would have felt better getting everything off her mind.
In the same breath though, she said “I personally really don’t believe in forcing people because sometimes it could ruin them.”
“Some people feel rape is something that you can just get up and talk about. If you walk with your friends in your mind you’re wondering what they think about you. You feel dirty inside. You feel shame and angry. You grow miserable because you don’t how to express yourself or talk about it. You don’t want to re-live the incident. You don’t know who to trust, because trust has been broken. Some people commit suicide after being raped. Some turn homosexual, some turn to prostitution. Some put on a false personalities to try to fit in to society. Some carry this terrible thing inside for years because they don’t know who to trust and because they are ashamed. It is a terrible sin when someone rob you of your innocence,” she said, all in one breath.
“She just don’t want to relive it and you can see it. It was a situation where she was wetting her bed, she is doing things she would not normally do,” she added.
Responding to criticisms on social media that she, the mother, ought to be locked up or that she should have made the child testify, she reiterated, “I don’t believe in forcing people to do things. I was shocked when she said she doesn’t want it to go on…before we went into the court I told her to trust in God and allow God to lead you, as long as you know you tell the truth you don’t have anything to worry about.”
The woman said even though she believes in forgiveness she “would like to see justice served” and she said she knows God will handle this situation which “has traumatised this child severely.”
There have also been allegations on social media that the mother or some family member took a bribe/pay off to drop the case against the accused officer.
To this, the woman who became emotional said, “it’s a lie.”
“I have a heart and l would never accept any money nor material things to cover any wrongdoing by anyone. They are not my GOD. My GOD Jehovah the creator of the heavens and the earth. I know the GOD who said to forgive is also a GOD of justice. Yes, my daughter can forgive the officer, but she doesn’t understand that he must be held accountable for this dreadful crime that he committed,” she later wrote in a follow up Whatsapp message to the reporter.
Earlier this week, the police prosecutor accused of kidnapping the 13 year old girl and having sex with her on two occasions in 2016, walked free after the child said she did not want to proceed with the case and or to relive the incidents.
Crown Counsel Shannon Jones-Gittens called the teen to court to explain herself before Justice Keith Thom and, the girl indicated that she came to the decision after she spoke with her mother, counsellor and guardian.
She further stated that she has forgiven the accused, and had she been in his shoes, she would have wanted to be forgiven as well.
The child, who is now a ward of the state, having been removed from her parents’ care, said she understood the seriousness of the allegations before the court which included one count of kidnapping and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse – the latter offence carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Jones-Gittens told the court that the teen, who is now 15, also spoke with her about the matter several times and, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Anthony Armstrong had asked for the Directorate of Gender Affairs to be involved and to offer counselling to the teen.
Gender Affairs declined, stating that the child was already in the care of the Family and Social Services department. The child’s counsellor was provided through that department and worked with her for over a year.
All this was done to ensure the child got professional help and advice throughout the entire process.
The prosecutor also indicated to the court that during one of the interactions with the teen as she prepared to prosecute the case, the child sat through the entire process, crying, without uttering one word.
As a result of the request from the teen not to proceed with the trial, and in the absence of any other corroborating evidence the prosecution withdrew the charges, and the cop of over a decade service, walked out the court, free of all the allegations
The allegations made against the officer were that around July 26, 2016, in the height of Carnival activities, the child was working with a woman who was operating a Barbecue stall in St. John’s, and the woman sent her to a shop nearby.
While she was on the way, the officer allegedly approached the teen, whom he knew, and told her to join him in his vehicle and when she did not, he forced her inside and took her to his home.
There, he allegedly engaged her in sex even though she was 13 and the age of consent is 16. He also allegedly threatened her and told her not to say anything.
The following day, he allegedly reached out to her and she went to his home where he again, allegedly had sex with her contrary to the Sexual Offences Act which sets out the age of consent.

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