In a bizarre incident in Westmoreland, in the western end of the island, in Jamaica W. I. a Baptist Church Elder has been arrested and charged for allegedly raping an eleven year old girl.
Conformation is very sketchy, but this is what we have at press time. Matters of this nature cannot be reported in detail due to their sensitivity and laws governing disclosure as it relates to minors.
Court hearings are usually held “in camera” and there is oftentimes a news block out.
There has been in recent times an increased awareness of these crimes. As a result, there have been increased reports to the authorities. Even the police themselves have in the not so distant past been treating these reports not as seriously as they should. There could have been under reporting.
A new Police unit called “The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses And Child Abuse ” (CISOCA) has been established. It is currently headed by Superintendent Charmaine Shand formerly in charge of St. Thomas, a parish to the eastern end of Kingston the Capital of Jamaica. CISOCA has proven to be more proactive at investigating sex related crimes to include Child Abuse. There have been increased arrests and convictions.
Sex crimes allegedly involving church officials, for example, are at times dealt with in a hush hush manner. Victim’s handlers/parents oftentimes are not prepared to go to the police and file formal reports. Instead they go through their respective internal church system. If action is taken no one outside the church community may ever know. These matters are invariably covered up based on anecdotal accounts. It is widely believed that church official(s) so accused/suspected are invariably transferred to another parish as likely a party to a cover up and limit any perceived damage to their public image.