“If our “Justice System” cannot bring a child rapist to trial in ten years, what right does our “Justice System” even have to exist? We have a sham of a ‘justice’ system.”
… from our July 2, 2008 article Child Rape Haven Barbados – 12-Year-Old Girl Raped Ten Years Ago, No Trial For Ten Years
Where is the outrage? Where is the accountability for the incompetent prosecutors and managers of our Justice system?
If you think you’ve read about this story before, you haven’t: this is a new story about yet another child rapist released by the Barbados courts because after the accused was charged there was no trial for ten years.
Sylvanus Da Costa Clarke was 39 years old in 2000 when he was charged for the 1996 rape of a 9 year old girl and a 2000 indecent assault against the same victim, then 11 years old. Last week the victim, now a 21 year old young woman, told the court that she has had enough of the ten year marathon to bring her rapist to trial.
The victim wants to get on with her life and I can’t blame her. As a child she was raped by a 39 year old man and then raped again for ten years by our so-called justice system.
Her story is not unusual and merely reinforces what Bajan women already know…
Rape a child or a young woman in Barbados? Chances are that your charges will never make it to trial. Either the defense lawyers will succeed in subverting our eunuch-run courts by delaying tactics, or the old-boy network will arrange to pay off the victim’s family.
“The Barbados justice system once again teaches a young rape victim that women and children are nothing on this island, and that any rapist with enough money can beat the system or buy his way out of trouble.”
Similar stories occur so often that it sounds like a monthly feature, but nothing is ever done. In the latest episode, Principal Crown Alliston Seale admits another failure in the Department of Public Prosecutions, but you know that neither he nor anyone else will be sacked. Nothing will be done and six months from now we’ll be reading about another victim.
While it’s not only child-rape and rape charges that get delayed until they are dropped, one would think that these cases in particular would be chauffeured through the court system with a concern to expediently exonerate the accused or to convict and provide some justice and closure for the children and young women victims.
Instead, we teach our young rape victims that women and children are nothing on this island, and that any rapist with enough money can buy his way out of trouble one way or another. For that is exactly what happens time and time again.
Oh well… what can you expect when Charles Leacock, our Director of Public Prosecutions, was himself embroiled in a scandal where he used the power of his office to abuse Ronja Juman, a woman tenant? Then in a separate case the DPP dropped all corruption charges against his friend – a corrupt police officer Paul Vaughn (sometimes spelled Paul Vaughan) who helped him abuse Ronja Juman.
As of the weekend, Barbados has a new Attorney General: Adriel Brathwaite. If Mr. Brathwaite cares about women and children rape victims he will demand answers on his desk within a few days – and he will fire those police and prosecutors who cannot perform. We must stop blaming “the system” and start making individuals responsible when they fail to do a proper job.
Here’s a few questions Attorney General Brathwaite should be asking. I’m sure you can think of others…
– How many child-sex and rape charges are currently before our courts?
– How long has each one been in the system?
– What is the status and the PLAN for each case?
– Which prosecutors have failed miserably to properly manage child-sex and rape cases? Why should they not be sacked?
Here is the article of the latest case from the Barbados Advocate…