Monday, June 5, 2023


Startling Rise in Sexual Assaults Against Women. How to Protect Yourself

Authorities are worried about the increase in sexual assaults in New Providence, particularly in the southwestern area of the capital.

Twenty-two cases have been reported for the year, so far, a slight increase at this point when compared to last year.

Recent cases involved women in their 30s who were inside their home in the Chippingham area when a man climbed through the window around 2 am and while armed with a gun, robbed and raped them.

Another incident involved a woman walking around 10 am in the Bacardi Road area, when a man pulled alongside her, forced her inside the vehicle and raped her in nearby bushes.

Though police have increased saturation patrols, there are some measures women can take to protect themselves.  These measures are not foolproof but they can reduce the risks.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  1. If at home, ensure windows and curtains are closed at night, and doors and gates are locked and secured before going to bed. In addition, secure a self-defence tool in your home like a baseball bat, taser or stun gun to use when necessary.
  2. If walking, avoid isolated areas. It will be difficult to get help since no one is around.
  3. Walk diligently. Act like you know where you’re going, even if you don’t.
  4. Ensure you have your cell phone with you at all times to contact emergency personnel quickly.
  5. Avoid early mornings and isolated areas, if out for a jog. Carry self-defence instruments like pepper sprays, batons and spy cameras; Do not put music headphones in both ears so that you have a complete awareness of what’s going on around you.
  6. Only accept delivery items in a well-lit public space and/or accompanied by a friend.
  7. If you believe you need to get away from a possible assault, drive hastily and cautiously, and persistently blow your horn; call a relative or police quickly and drive to the nearest police station.
  8. Trust your instincts. If the location feels unsafe, it probably is not the best place to be.


Kirk Cornish Spent the Evening in GB Under Questioning in Sexual Assault Case

North Abaco Member of Parliament Kirk Cornish was in Grand Bahama on Thursday to answer questions about the sexual assault allegations leveled at him by his former girlfriend.

The questioning took place at a police station in the nation’s second city where the complaint was made. The announcement of his appearance accompanied by a lawyer, drew attention and widespread public debate that his historic surrender brings.

Many Bahamians took to social media to express, “No one is above the law,” when the authorities announced that Cornish “turned himself in” around 5:25 pm.

Cornish, who is a sitting member of parliament, was asked about his encounters with the unnamed woman who accused him of choking her twice near unconsciousness, then poking her in the eye, before threatening to kill her family.

She alleged on March 24 while spending time in Nassau together, Cornish held a knife to her throat and attempted to stab her. Then on April 4, he ripped off her pants and underwear and forced himself on her.

When she filed an official complaint against him on April 7, he was not questioned immediately, until Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander announced this week that Cornish would be brought in during the week to answer questions in regard to the accusations after their preliminary investigations were completed.

Though the media did not outrightly identify him as the person accused of the sexual assault, they asked him about the allegations as he arrived at Parliament, to which Cornish replied, “No comment.”

The woman told the media “…something has to be done because he needs help, and whatever route that takes, it has to be done. I didn’t do this to hurt him, I did this to help him.”

It remains to be seen if police have sufficient evidence to charge him with a crime.

Horror Comes to Marshall Road Family–Husband Tied Up, Wife Raped During Home Invasion

A home invasion led to a rape and armed robbery early Sunday morning in a Marshall Road neighborhood, devastating a small family living in the Southern area of New Providence.

Though the police did not identify which of the family was attacked, CSJ Report understands the husband, wife and other relatives in the home were assaulted and attacked by three suspects who forced their way into the home and threatened the family with guns around five in the morning.

The three suspects robbed the family of money, then tied up the husband before raping the wife in the same room where the husband was held captive.

The suspects escaped after the brutal invasion. It is not known if the suspects left in a car or on foot but authorities are actively seeking their whereabouts.

It is also not known if the police are following any leads. However, in cases like this, police can use the semen left behind by suspects at the scene to find those in question.

The public was shocked to learn of the brazen attack, many expressed anger on social media.

Fredlean Delva said, “How could you rob someone and still be turned on enough to sexually assault a female? They need life in prison while eating dry bread.”

George Jones suggested, “No bail. Under the jailhouse.”

“When are the people in power going to really care about the people? No one is actually safe. Sitting ducks,” Laurence Arnett said.

And Lovely McIntosh said, “Your home is supposed to be your safe haven. These criminals [are] running the streets while law-abiding citizens are sitting ducks. We need guns too.

Police said no one was in custody as of Monday morning.

Sex Offender Is Dead After 5 Day Prison Release. Was It Vigilante Justice?

The sex offender publicly released last week, died today in hospital following his discovery through a small road.

According to the Nassau Guardian, Alden Scott was found unresponsive on a dirt road while bleeding through the nose.

It is not known if he was attacked or the origin of his injuries.

His brother, Ronald Scott spoke to the daily saying, “The policeman took him to the hospital…Here we are [a] couple [of] days later, he’s dead.”

The big picture

Alden was released on Friday after being added to the sex offender registry. He served nine years in prison for sexual assault and was sentenced to two years in prison for caressing a girl’s thigh back in January.

Why it matters

Alden was the first person to be added to the sex offenders’ registry in a public notice. Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe warned that the public should refrain from issuing vigilante justice and cautioned that public notification will be discontinued if anyone physically assaults Alden on his release.

How the public reacts

Some social media users expressed no empathy for Alden.

Devon Rox says, “Knowing what sexual assault does to a person mentally and physically until the day they die, I have no compassion for the rapist.”

Stacey Smith says, “God doesn’t sleep.”

Negrita Valdez says she anticipated that the sex offender would be killed after release. “I knew it wasn’t going to be too long for him to enjoy his freedom…”

Monique Knowles calls for law reforms. “I don’t know why laws are not stricter. He should not have been allowed out in public after the second offense.”

Munroe: Officer at Fault in Sexual Assault Shared Cell Case

A police officer is expected to be disciplined for placing a woman in a cell with a man who sexually assaulted her in custody.

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe said the officer took responsibility for his actions and will be reprimanded.

Munroe could not say what disciplinary action the officer will face, only to say that he will await the “punishment.”

“The officer, from the information received from the commissioner of police, has acknowledged that he was at fault,” he said.

“I’ll have to wait and see what punishment is meted out, but I would expect that some punishment has to be meted out for that.”

Munroe said he does not know if the officer is still on duty.

“I cannot say that,” he said.

“If you wish, I could find out, but I expect that he would be disciplined.”

The big story

In October, 32-year-old Ryan Raymond Bodie, admitted to assaulting the 25-year-old woman while at the East Street South Police Station.

Bodie, described as a vagrant, was arrested for threatening his father, and shared cells with the woman who was detained on a traffic warrant.

No explanation was given on why they were placed in the same cell.

Bodie was remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services for a psychiatric assessment to determine his fitness to plead.

He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on December 14.

What We Know About the Abuse and Killing of Little Bella

The killing of four-year-old Bella on Friday by her mother’s boyfriend has sparked outrage and anger from the public.

The boyfriend Darion Smith and mother Astonya are said to be in police custody following her death, although other reports suggest that the mother is not being held by police.

The police said their initial investigation revealed that the child sustained “several injuries to her body” which caused her death, and labeled the incident, a “suspicious death” while they await an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

However, the police have not revealed whether or not Bella was sexually assaulted.

What happened to Bella?

CSJ Report understands that Bella Walker sustained severe injuries to her vagina, which appeared swollen.

It is also believed that the child was severely beaten within the last two months since the evidence shows broken bones and fractures that healed on its own.

On the day she died, the boyfriend called the emergency services and was seen lifting the “limp” body of Bella into the ambulance.

Neighbors in the subdivision said Bella was left home alone at times and was seen wandering the streets in Major Subdivision before she was attended to by a neighbour, until the mother and boyfriend arrived home.

Who took care of Bella?

Bella grew up with her paternal great grandmother, Mary Grant, since she was two weeks old. But two months ago, she was sent to live with her mother.

CSJ Report understands the mother harassed the family for custody of the child.

Grant’s daughter is the child’s grandmother, but Bella stayed with Grant.

“Everybody is crying. We send Bella to her death. Everybody. I couldn’t sleep last night. Oh Jesus!”

A neighbor recalled seeing the mother running naked in the street from the boyfriend who is accused of physically assaulting the mother as well. A coworker also confirmed the abuse of the mother since she often showed up at work with bruising around the eyes.

FNM Pressures Davis to Acknowledge Women Suffered at the Hands of Nygard

The Free National Movement, like many people, is awaiting the opposition’s acknowledgment of its connection to Canadian Fashion Mogul Peter Nygard, who is awaiting trial for alleged sexual assaults against women and underage girls at his Bahamas estate, Nygard Cay.

In a press statement following the PLP’s accusations that the FNM is using Facebook advertisements to attack its credibility, the FNM said, “Davis has a moral obligation to come clean and acknowledge the pain and suffering these women say his top donor caused to so many. Until Davis does, he leaves many Bahamians to wonder who he looks out for, other than himself.”

Why it matters

Jane Doe No. 1 was 14 years old when she says Peter Nygard raped her in 2015. (John Badcock/CBC)
Jane Doe No. 1 tells CBC News, she was 14 years old when Peter Nygard raped her in 2015. (John Badcock/CBC)

A four-part docuseries, Unseamly: The Investigation of Peter Nygard, on Discovery+ recently aired internationally, examining Nygard’s rise to power while highlighting interviews with Peter Nygard’s alleged victims and former employees who reveal dreadful stories about him. One person testified that Nygard collected passports, locked them in rooms with codes, to prevent them from leaving the estate. Watch this link to hear Jane Doe No. 3 describe what happens when she met Peter Nygard when she was 15 years old: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1850004547561

The big picture

Nygard is known as a close friend of the PLP, donating millions of dollars to the party during its time in office in 2012. In fact, a video circulated showing former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson receiving payments from Nygard which totaled $94,131.10 over an 18-month period.

Nygard’s former videographer Stephen Feralio captures Peter Nygard talking about Perry Christie winning the 2012 Bahamian election on a cellphone. Visit this link to hear Nygard’s reaction to the 2012 election:  https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1850003523643/

What the FNM says

“The alleged victims of Nygard’s abuse deserve justice. All Bahamians deserve to know the true details of how the PLP elite turned a blind eye to the conduct of a man U.S. prosecutors described as a callous, sex trafficking billionaire.

“Clearly Davis’ dismissive attitude towards these serious allegations proves he has a lot to learn about true leadership if he ever hopes to earn the trust of the people to lead our country.”

“Sadly, for Davis, it is relevant to Nygard’s alleged victims – some who claim they were basically locked in cages as their predator, lurked around waiting to abuse them. The Bahamian people deserve answers now. And when members of Davis’ own party admit they benefited indirectly from Nygard’s financial largesse to the PLP for their campaigns, even more questions are raised.

What Davis said in the past

At the release of the docuseries, Davis told the Nassau Guardian that the PLP’s relationship with Nygard in the past.

And back in December when  Davis was asked to offer his commentary on Nygard’s behavior while in the country, Davis said, “Peter, what’s his name?” Davis asked.

“My position in respect to what I heard or [have] not heard about him is that I’m more concerned about what this election is going to be about.

“I’m not concerned about a foreign action that has been brought against a foreign person who may have had an incident in the Bahamas.”

Featured Image: (Submitted to CBC by Stephen Feralio, Nygard’s former videographer)