Monday, June 5, 2023

What to Know About the Unnamed MP’s Sexual Assault Probe

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When an ex-girlfriend accused a member of parliament of assault and rape over two weeks ago,  authorities never questioned him. Now police are promising to bring him in for questioning this week after their preliminary investigations, Commissioner Clayton Fernander said.

The MP’s questioning will be another chapter in the assault and rape claims after the woman filed a complaint with the police against the ex-lover.

The uncertainty of the questioning process has spurred public debate. This development thrusts him, the government, the police force, and the country into unchartered waters.

What does the woman allege?

The woman who has not been officially identified said she and the MP were in a two-year relationship in which he choked her twice near unconsciousness. Then he poked her in the eye which he excused to be an accident.

She alleged he even threatened to kill her family while she watched.

On March 24 while spending time in Nassau together, he held a knife to her throat and attempted to stab her, she alleged.

Then on April 4, he ripped off her pants and underwear and forced himself on her. Before leaving the house, the MP said he came by to kill the family but ‘not enough of the family was in the yard.’

She then filed a police report on April 7

Who is the MP?

The media has been careful in publishing the MP’s name since he has not been officially named by the police and has not been charged with a crime. But public discourse alluded that he is a member of Parliament representing the Abaco constituency.

When reporters asked Commissioner Clayton Fernander to name the MP who is the suspect in the matter, he said, “The nation knows who the MP is.”

Will the MP be arrested?

Assault and rape are serious allegations. Those allegations levied against a sitting member of parliament are rare and grave, and could spark calls for resignation. Only a handful of MPs have been questioned by police. If he is arrested and charged, he will be the first MP formally accused with such serious offense.

What did the prime minister say?

Prime Minister Philip Davis has remained relatively quiet on the matter, but made his first comment on Saturday, suggesting that someone told him the alleged victim did not wish to press charges against the sitting MP. Davis said he will await the outcome of the police investigation, then he will speak on the matter.

What did the lawyer for the alleged victim say?

The woman refuted claims that she is with-drawing statements she made against the MP. In speaking to the Tribune, she doubled down: “I am continuing my pursuit of justice in this matter, and I will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate.”

In fact, she retained a lawyer Bjorn Ferguson after the PM’s statement. The lawyer said the victim “expects a professional investigation to be undertaken.”

“At the conclusion of the police investigation, we expect the case file to be reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecution.”

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