Cops under probe for dancer's rape
Rasbert Turner, Star Writer
An investigation has being launched in reports that five policemen raped a woman at an exotic club yesterday.
THE WEEKEND STAR learnt that the implicated policemen, all from the St Catherine North Division, have been removed front-line duty.
It is understood that the policemen went to the club, located in Spanish Town, St Catherine, about 12:30 a.m. Some of the policemen stayed inside and search patrons while five allegedly carried out the criminal act during the search. Reports said the dancer was taken to the rear of the building where it is alleged by the victim that the policemen took turns raping her.
"I was so shocked that I could not scream," she said while crying yesterday. The victim further said that a gun was held to her head and she was raped.
Workers at the club claim that they were also shocked by the incident. "...The girl no deserve that not because wi a dancer," another exotic dancer said.
On a radio interview on Nationwide Radio Princess Brown today President of the Sex Workers Association was outraged and said it was not the first time cases such as this occurred but not with such coarseness and horror, she said victims sometimes go quietly recovering on their own and without reporting the matter out of fear. She said the cops would visit bars and exotic clubs and sometimes intimidate dancers telling them it's illegal then blackmail them for sex or money in exchange for avoiding arrest.
Sharon (name changed) said the cops came at 1:30am and demanded they kept their hands up for a long period, they searched the men and then proceeded to search the lockers of the ladies of the night, they took small items including scissors, she complained the police women were abusive, there were seven women according to her as an eyewitness. There was a bus load of police officers who were supposedly on tactical training and were to graduate from the course today February 18th. Sharon continued that the police were very abusive and she realized that the rape victim was missing after the search and abuse ordeal happened. The supervisor for the dancers asked her what was up and she was trembling and said she couldn't say until after the cops left. The condoms that were used were left on the scene which was outside at the second bar which is not visible to the main building. The police officers were said to be masked and their identification numbers were covered. Some of them had no mask but no numbers at all visible to identify them.
The victim when questioned after the cops departed she outlined where the incident took place by the outside bar. The chef who was on the inside who could see the place better was forcibly removed by the cops and told not to look, the owner for the bar was also kept at bay from the area. Sharon surmised that the victim was picked because she happened to be outside at the time, young and attractive a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, she is said to be twenty two years old.
Miss Kadasi Levermore Jamaica AIDS Support for Life's Executive Director said the positive piece is that the girls were committed to report the matter in order to take action, "it's quite unfortunate the men who were involved are to protect and sworn to do so ..... violating human rights" she continued men like to take on gender roles and they want to discriminate against dancers and similar typed stereotype. She asked for all the stake holders to come forward to find solutions.
Ivan Cruickshank Programs manager of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities, CVC said the Sex workers workshop held earlier last year had similar stories and that the legal systems support this kind of behaviour in the form of the law that criminalizes commercial sex work they the cops go in under the guise to effect abuse. They engage sex workers after not being satisfied or comforted enough by the services offered. He said Caribbean Vulnerable Communities, CVC asked the sex workers to mobilize themselves and also on several occassions asked government to condemn such violence.
The Spanish Town police has taken statements from other dancers at the venue and they have offered counseling, the police force has not been having a great image lately with all kinds of happenings damaging the grounds made after the Tivoli Incursion and the little trust they were able to re-establish. Fortunately these animals were not allowed to graduate into the police system as God knows what they would have unleashed on the public in the name of the uniform, the abuses from cops is almost common place outside of sexual abuse and sadly female police officers were present during the operation at the club who while not present on the rape scene according to an interview done by Nationwide on February 17th were abusive to the other girls condemning them as worthless and the usually lower denominator language.
UPDATE: Feb 19th
I hope the victim will be allowed to recover with all the assistance and support available.
Peace and tolerance.