Judge places restriction on reporting sexual matters

gag orderHigh Court Judge, Bernie Stephenson, has issued a ‘gag order’ on the media covering the May Criminal Assizes warning that persons charged or convicted of sexual offenses should not be named.

“I am warning that no media house or individual should publish the name(s) of any person charged and or convicted of any sexual offense,” she said at the opening of the May criminal assizes on Wednesday. “You are to only use initials.”

The judge warned that anyone who goes against the order “will face the full force of this court.”

The judge’s order appears to contradict Section 38. 1 b of the Sexual Offences Act  of 1998 which states that the name of an accused can be published “after the person has been tried and convicted of the offence.”

However, the Act makes it clear that the identity of an accused person in a sex crime cannot be published while the matter is before the court.

“After a person is charged with an offense under this Act, any matter that is likely to lead members of the public to identify a person as a complainant or as the accused in relation to that charge shall not be published in any written publication or be broadcast in Dominica…” section 38.1 of the Act reads. However, that section of the Act as stated below, gives two exceptions in which the name of a convicted sex offender may be published:

Sexual Offences Act

At the end of the January Criminal Assizes, it was reported in the media that Stephenson had criticized Dominica News Online (DNO) for publishing the name of a Canefield bus driver who was convicted of having unlawful sex with a minor and sentenced to nine years in prison. She said then that her position on the matter was not in an effort to to protect the accused but rather the identity of the victim.

Meantime, only one person pleaded guilty during the assizes and will be sentenced on June 2 after a social inquiry report has been made.

The matter is of a sexual nature.

The May assizes will continue on May 19, 2014.

Among the cases on the list are incest, buggery, unlawful sexual intercourse and unlawful sexual connection, theft/burglary, causing death by dangerous driving, wounding/grievous bodily harm, among others.

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76 Comments

  1. Me
    May 16, 2014

    Oh my gosh. I am utterly shocked sand disgusted!! The very ones we expect to put procedures in place to protect us r doing the exact opposite!! Eh beh, c’est achwelman nou fini en Domnik. That lady cannot possibly have children or grands for her to make such a decision. It is only when the matter comes home and knocks on our door….no one is immune to sexual offenses… God preserve our children and ladies in Dca. Dat is y pple hv to take these matters into their hands. Si I pas ni soutiweh y pas ni voleh. We protecting rapist now??? Hmmm. SHAME. This is cause for a petition!!!

  2. May 16, 2014

    DNO is read with appreciation in Canada. I have no desire to meddle with affairs of the Dominican Government or courts.
    But the same issues that spring up in Dominica also spring up in Canada. So I am addressing the questions as they may exist in Canada well as Dominica. My comments would apply to the issues in any country where they surface.

    In Canada there has been a problem with appointed judges taking it upon themselves to make laws. Nobody denies the judges the right to interpret a law and tell how it applies. However there is a line between interpreting a law and making a law. In spite of the fact that it is happening here many citizens seem to feel that judges should not make laws. I think it would be safe to say that the majority of responsible voters in Canada believe only our elected politicians should make laws.

    I would be the first to say that the name of an alleged sex offender should not be publish by the media until he (or she) is convicted. There is no reason an innocent person should have to live under this kind of cloud. Human nature being as it is even if the individual is found innocent there will be those who will always wonder if…

    If the person is found innocent the name should definitely not be released. This should be the law and the order of the court. The media people should know they face a penalty if they violate this.

    I agree with the DNO commentators who say the names of sex offenders who are convicted should be published. People have a right to know if a rapist or pedophile is living in their neighborhood. It is a safety issue. They should be able to notify police if a pedophile is seen hanging out in a park, or near a school yard. The information may be of interest to potential employers. While offenders should be given a chance to recover there are jobs involving children a convicted pedophile should never have.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.
    Former Licensed Private investigator.

  3. Anonymous
    May 16, 2014

    think the people have the right to know who sex offenders. are we have to protect our selfs and children.

  4. Francisco Telemaque
    May 15, 2014

    “May Criminal Assizes warning that person charged or convicted of sexual offenses should not be named.”

    There seems to be a law supporting this nonsense, be that as it may; pedophilia, or whatever sex offender committed a horrific crime; such people should not be protected by the law. Protected by the law actually gives them power over their victims.

    Sexual perversion is all due to a condition of the mind, all of these sex offenders are walking time bomb. He who rapes is a potential murderer! That is why in places such as the United States, such offenders are incarcerated for the crime, and upon release it is mandatory that they register with the State as a sex offender; that sort of person is not allowed to reside in certain communities, in any event, their identity is published and made known to the public.

    If I wish to know if there is a sex offender living next door to me; I can get on my computer, and access certain list with the names of sex offenders, and the address of their place of residence, and if I protest, that bastard would be on the run, looking for somewhere else to live as simple as that.

    Any judge who supports the notion that the sex offender names should not be published, is actually condoning the actions of these criminals, who’s brain are wired to committed such heinous crimes. The people who writes and table these barbaric law’s are indeed criminals themselves; and indeed the people who affixed their signatures to such statues, or act, are themselves criminals.

    To the lady Judge I say, you too are vulnerable to these predators, it could be only a matter of time before you are faced with the same fate, any woman or child can be raped by anyone who crave the flesh of a woman, and such predators come from within all sections of society, they are doctors, lawyers, ministers of religion, police men, and teachers; the profession one holds does not matter, such criminals are opportunists, the people a woman may fare will harm them are not the ones to fear.

    The unsuspecting dressed in his coat, and tie, the well spoken, the highly educated, are the criminals are the wolves dressed in sheep clothing. Their names must be published so that woman can be aware of them and be in a position to protect themselves against the unexpected vicious attack from such perpetrators!

    That law is one that should be repealed, there should be no law protecting rapist, and pedophilia.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Anonymous
      May 15, 2014

      Agree with your whole statement 100%, their names and pictures should be on bulletin boards on the side of the streets so people can be aware when they see them.

    • I'm Woman
      May 16, 2014

      I must say that i totally agree with you! I as a woman would want to be aware of the men that i’m around on a day to day base whether it is socially or for work. and also for our own kids as you rigihtly stated. Couldn’t agree with you more!!!!!

    • May 16, 2014

      Francisco:

      I appreciate your comments. Thank you for speaking out. You have articulated well. It used to be said that the pen is mightier than the sword. I think it applies now to the computer key board.

      There seems to be some confusion over what the law actually says. Some think it is giving with one hand and taking back with the other.

      There is no doubt as to what the lady judge has said. What is equally clear is that most of the DNO commentators do not agree with her.

      We have had a problem in Canada with appointed judges making laws. It seems most of our citizens want their elected politicians making the laws not judges.

      I agree with you that the names of convicted sex offenders should be published This is about safety and security. If the Supreme Court ruled on this matter I would expect it to come down on the side of protecting the public. This is a sensitive issue involving the wellbeing of women and children. It could be a matter of life and death.

      I would be disappointed if there is not a review of this. If this drama were being played out in Canada I for one would be asking for some changes to be make.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        May 18, 2014

        “We have had a problem in Canada with appointed judges making laws. It seems most of our citizens want their elected politicians making the laws not judges.”

        I truly appreciate you comments on this matter, and always look forward to reading you in general. My question to you in regards to the quote above is this: Do appointed judges in Canada, really make the Law’s they presides over?

        The reason I ask that is because I know that Canada, and basically all commonwealth nation practices “common Law;” and in common law it is the practice in some cases one person can write an act, or law, however, that law has to be tabled, and agreed upon, passed by senators, of that country, or as in America where both the Upper House, and the Senate has to pass the law, and in order for it to become Law, the President has to signed it into law.

        In England it occurs in a similar way; I believe the Queen as head of the Commonwealth in England may be the person signing such acts, or penal code into law, in Dominica after a law is written, and debated in our parliament, once the good old boys agree on it; I believe our ceremonious President signs it into law.

        I am aware that in non-commonwealth nations such as France, and Italy, it is a free for all, the judges are allowed to make whatever decisions they wish where it pertains legal matters. I am not actually familiar with the Canadian justice system, except dealing with the police who held me up at gun point:

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah; on Ferris Road in Toronto in front of my cousin house for no other reason than I was driving a very expensive car, with no registration plate, I guess they thought I stole it. The next thing I know the officer called for backup; while he scrutinized my Bill of Sale, and driver license; one of them was very nice though, he kept smiling, and the bad cop who stopped me ask him ” have you ever seen any car came across before without any plates.

        The officer said yes, then the bad guy give me my Bill of Sale, and the nice guy said to me: “that’s a nice ride you’ve have” and they let me go. The last time I was over there I went to visit none other than Liz4Jesus who forgot to get me a parking permit so that I could park at her building, the next I know when I came out of her house there was a parking citation on my car; and all my friend Elizabeth, said to me was oh, Francisco I am so sorry. I should have made her pay for the ticket, see how she would like it. I was later informed by my cousin I must pay that citation, other wise I could find myself unable to return to Canada, when I got to the boarder next time.

        Other than that I have very little knowledge of the legal system in Canada, it would be interesting to find out what system of law the utilized in Canada; commonwealth law or other.

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  5. PC
    May 15, 2014

    I understand the need to keep the name while the trial is going on but if convicted then the public needs to know.

    Same reason if a thief moves into your neighbourhood you would want to know to protect yourself, family and assets. Some people will say is ‘beff’ people like but is in the name of public awareness and safety. Imagine your daughter/son bringing home a ‘friend’ to your home and not knowing that person is a serial rapist then reevaluate that ‘beff’ position once more.

    Do no overreach your boundaries. Judges are supposed to follow and apply law not make them up. Soon we might need wikileaks in Dominica to make the individuals and their associated crimes public.

    • May 17, 2014

      This is absolutely true.

      The majority of commentators in DNO believe the names of CONVICTED sex offenders should be published. In a democracy the majority rules. Maybe it is time to mobilize the majority and request a review.

      If such a law exists the law needs to be reviewed because the lives of women and children are at risk and it is a matter of life and death.

      A law that forbids the revealing of the name of a CONVICTED rapist or pedophile – whether the law came from elected politicians or an appointed judge – should be struck down in the interest of public safety and security. This would apply in Canada or any other democratic nation.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist. Former Licensed Private Investigator.

  6. LOL
    May 15, 2014

    We must protect those who are abused,

    I understand why the names can’t be made public while the trail is going on. We do not need to know about the trail or details of what happened. But to protect or sons and daughters, Dominica needs a sex offenders list, that should be made public by those requesting it. Once convicted, the names should be made public.

    , I’m tired of our culture sweeping these things under a rug. Its not ok. We are more concerned about prosecuting those who smoke and sell marijuana. A persons self worth is broken with sexual abuse, this is why so many men and women are lost, sexually confused and walking the streets..

    Dominica is a small country, everyone can pin point sexually abused children, and the reality is, others prey on them. These kids are submissive to the abuse because it becomes part of there routine.

  7. hope
    May 15, 2014

    DNO cannot post it … but I can. So while I will respect a person’s right not to be published during trial; after trial if you are convicted and I know you I will spread the word. I will place your name and picture on my community notice board. Then Bernie can bring the full force of the law against me … if that is what it takes to protect our children then so be it. Stupzzzzzzzzz man!

    • friend
      May 15, 2014

      i agree with you.

    • Jules
      May 16, 2014

      I am with you on that. As long as you’re convicted I’m spreading your name like a wild fire….

  8. Tina Alexander
    May 15, 2014

    The way I read this it is entirely legal to publish the names of CONVICTED sexual offenders. I think their names and pictures should be published when they are coming out of prison so that we can protect and inform our children. Sadly without treatment these people tend to be inevitable reoffenders…….What we do not want is anything published which could lead to perpetrators not being convicted or complainants being further victimised.

  9. Nicole
    May 15, 2014

    Thank you….now for the next part of the question. What are the procedures in Dominica for amending laws?

  10. possi in usa
    May 15, 2014

    you people love too much drama and beff..most of you just have a malicious intention, its not because you really care about abuse of women and children,men included.if you all or family member were wearing the accused shoes,it would be a different cup of tea..No one is right to abuse anyone,and we all have faults and make mistakes..where is the love and forgiveness for each other. if we continue with this negative mentality,we are surely doomed.love,not hate.

    • pax
      May 15, 2014

      Stupzzzzzz

  11. Jail-corrupt-leaders
    May 15, 2014

    So all this talk of child abuse and march for child abuse is a bunch of hypocrisy when our laws protect them lol Dominica boy

    • Anonymous
      May 15, 2014

      The names of drunk drivers, drug dealers, murderers, thieves, police brutality, political behavior, sports men and women, lost at sea and lottery winners and not a rapist? B S to the max, I’m not from DA but I’m a regular reader of DNO, and I’m totally disagree with this judge, she seems to be making her own laws. If it’s one person every one should know about is a RAPIST that people can be aware of. Lots of people got rape and afraid to report it because of embarrassment and end up doing the unbelievable, then we watch and laugh, criticise and scorn them but it’s because we don’t know what they being through. Even in SKB and NEVIS they have the registered law for rapist. Dominicans wake up, the law says the names could and should be published, so publish it for the safety of those that haven’t fall in the trap and those who went through it don’t have to again by another rapist.

  12. Mind your Mind
    May 14, 2014

    DNO Admin, it is your duty to challenge this nonesense in the name of journalism, decency, democracy, freedom of speech, safety, and a slew of human rights! POST THE NAMES DNO. POST THE NAMES!

    This judge epitomizes the abuse of power in Dominica and the continual attempt to silence independent media outlets. Not only does she misunderstand her role, her power and her place, she is overlooking the effect of her “decree” on the people she is supposed to use her office to protect.

    Post the names DNO. Please let “the powers that be” step in to either denounce this asinine behavior or defend it and let the people know they are the ones protecting the sexual perpetrators. And, while you are at it, get a quote from the head of social welfare since they recently claimed that sexual abuse and exploitation is beyond their control of late!

    • Educator
      May 15, 2014

      I think a lawyer or group of lawyers should get together with the media houses in Dominica and promise to take on this case pro bono to ensure the rule of law prevails and that the judge rules on the basis of the law and not on how she feels.

      The problem with lawyers in DA, is that they are mostly concerned about how much money they earn and not on any type of principle. So I would not expect them to take on that case unless someone is prepared to pay them.

  13. Simply the Truth
    May 14, 2014

    This is an unusual Law in D/ca. If convicted and sentenced the name should be published.
    There may be an exception; only one. If the perpetrator is a family member and an immediate one at that, then, the Court reserves the right to withhold the name to protect the victim’s identity and the name should not be published. Otherwise, at the end of the case, the name should be published.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 15, 2014

      “If the perpetrator is a family member and an immediate one at that, then, the Court reserves the right to withhold the name to protect the victim’s”

      In that case, the court would still not be protecting the victims; when a woman gets rape, no matter how much they wish to conceal it; there is always going to be someone who will know about it. Women are raped in Dominica, and refuse to go to the police for no other reason except for the fear of been stigmatized. Meanwhile, the animalistic minded perpetrator goes on, may become a habitual rapist ravaging women, and in the process damaging them mentally.

      There are women in this country who many years after been raped, committed suicide, rather than live with the memory and knowledge of the day there were raped! It is true that Dominica is a third world country, however, such primitive law’s has no place in any society in the twenty-first century!

      The Dominican who wrote that law will have a different view when his mother, and sisters, are brutally raped, and that’s if the author (s) were born from a mother. Everything they do in Dominica, they do it with ulterior motives, and that is usually to protect, or benefit one’s self, or someone they know. I guaranty if we research the background of the person who wrote that piece of backward legislation, I am positive we will find something in his, or family background which caused him/her to write such bit of garbage.

      I will bet anything it might be to cover their own butt!

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • Simply the Truth
        May 16, 2014

        Yes, people will know. As the saying, news travel. The family will tell family members and they will tell friends and the news will travel faster than lightning and faster than the wind blows. Furthermore, the case is not usually heard behind closed doors unless it is requested by the Court for obvious reasons.
        Nevertheless, this is the Law, to withhold the names specifically if they pertain to a family member who the perpetrator.
        The Law is the Law. We may not agree with it and find it unfair but we have to accept it. One way of trying to change Laws is to write the proper authorities and also to demonstrate, hopefully peacefully. Laws have been changed in the past under certain circumstances but they are not easy to change.

  14. May 14, 2014

    According to that Judge, “You are to only use initials”. Never heard of such crap. There are so many people with the SAME INITIALS? EVERYONE with the SAME INITIAL BECOMES A SUSPECT/CHILD MOLESTER.

    Sorry for the VICTIMS.

    • Simply the Truth
      May 16, 2014

      It is crap to use initials. Sometimes they use a fictitious name. The initials might as well be left out.

  15. Jaime Lewis
    May 14, 2014

    If someone is convicted of a sexual crime there is no reason why their identity should be kept secret. This needs to be public information. In fact, there should be a registry of all sex offenders so that everyone will know their identity, where they live and where they work. This is to protect the public and ensure that they do not reoffend. They should also be required to check in to some type of rehabilitation program and to have some type of welfare officer keep track of their progress. We need to protect the public from these predators. Keeping their identity secret does not help our society.

  16. Educator
    May 14, 2014

    It is quite simple. DNO should consult with their lawyers and if they are on solid ground, publish the name of the convict. If they are charged, then challenge it in court.

  17. Madam Bulldozer
    May 14, 2014

    ………, Bullfrog, Bullcrap, Bull young, Bulldog, Bullfight.
    Strange! who is hiding in the shadows? I want to know. Is it mon-stars, mini-stars, maxi-stars. Will and come again. Is that the influence of award winning Tony-stars. I blame the puppet too., because he assumes the role of a dictator. Well Dominica fini-bat.

  18. Looking in
    May 14, 2014

    Is that the kind of people who are representing us in the court of law?

    We the public need to know who these sex offenders are, so we can protect ourselves and our kids.

  19. Smuggler
    May 14, 2014

    A drug dealer caught with some kilos name will be published in the media when convicted,a hustler caught with a few dyne bags name will be published but a molesters name won’t be published in the media when convicted.A pedophile name will be kept in secrecy. Dominicas justice system suck. It’s rotten.

    • Simply the Truth
      May 16, 2014

      In the case of rape it is for the protection of the victim. I suppose, they do not want them to be walking around with a stigma saying, “This is the person who was raped and this is the person who raped so and so.” This should only be applied to close members of a family and not to the general public.
      Throughout the years a lot of rape have occurred and few, if none at all considered them rape. Generally, the men were the perpetrators. Men who entertained women or who invited women out or even were invited by women to their home committed rape. It was high time that the government did something about it. The big countries commenced it and now countries as D/ca followed suit.
      I do agree that the names should be revealed to the public. In a small place as D/ca where practically everyone knows each other, I wonder if the Court will ever change this Law. I would say, live and let live. Parents will have to guard their children and women guard themselves. Keep in mind little boys are raped as well.
      Do not forget those perverts who access the Internet for pornographic literature and some who have pornographic literature/pictures on their Websites. Specifically the latter, they think they are smart. It is a crime/sin to do so. There are also perverts in the workplace, andin certain homes.
      I view them as being wicked people with wicked minds who are influenced by Satan. They even try to crash people’s computers and also try to access them, if only they did not have security. Honest people, eh? They should be arrested and charged. As the saying, someday, something will give. They will be caught. Nothing happens before its time. What goes around comes around.
      There is a God above taking note. He is capable of bringing them down to naught and they could lose all they accumulated. It has occurred to some people who pay for their wickedness right on earth.

  20. Anonymous
    May 14, 2014

    God Help us please and our children, young boys, girls and women

  21. Ras
    May 14, 2014

    That not fair because if a man is charged for anther offence ( weed) not only they put his name but also his picture and whatever information they could get on his family. It come like only small people will be embarrassed in dominica while people in position can do their crime and the law will protect them.

  22. chow mien
    May 14, 2014

    It appears that these so-call judges are making up their own laws as they go along.

  23. %
    May 14, 2014

    A hungry man who steals a packet of crix biscuit will have his name published though!!!!! Not that he should steal, but i am talking in relation to the two offenses. ONLY IN DOMINICA!
    WAY PAPA BONDIEU!

  24. budman
    May 14, 2014

    judge is contravening the law. this is insane.

  25. Jon Carson
    May 14, 2014

    The Judge have that one wrong.

  26. May 14, 2014

    I really feel sorry for Dominicans who have to live in a country like this. This woman is protecting child molesters, and it is time Dominicans do something to stop all this nonsense happening in this country. Look saville is dead in the UK and people taking jail with the public knowing, too much corruption in our courts and GOvt, time for a ……… revoulution.

  27. way papap
    May 14, 2014

    You can already see that some are going to be running free.The power running the country.Tell the men to rape we wont call their names until after 5 or more years. shameeee on that corrupt judicial system

  28. suspicious
    May 14, 2014

    Who Bernie protecting. GARCON SEND MAMSELLE BACK TO GUYANA’ She cannot try that nonsense there.

  29. Nicole
    May 14, 2014

    Can someone tell me when was this law enacted and what are the procedures in Dominica for the revision of laws?

    • .
      May 15, 2014

      Do not put your picture when you intend to display such ignorance. If you read the script which I hope you did the first part of your question should never be asked.

      Are you sure you need someone to tell you what year the 1998 Act was enacted? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      • jejep
        May 15, 2014

        I am sure that there would have been amendments to the act. so in the statement of offense the ending may read>>>>As Amended.

  30. truth be told
    May 14, 2014

    tell this woman ……..we the public have to know once that person(s) is/are found guilty we have to protect our yutes from these animals!!!…………….

    • Osanna Mowanga
      May 14, 2014

      is something wrong with this judge? what is really going on in Dominica?
      the sex offenders should be published after they are convicted so people can guard themselves. Dominicans open your eyes.

  31. Canada
    May 14, 2014

    I am so embarrassed, so forget about the many children and women that are sexually abused and assaulted and lets protect the criminals, well when will those in authority snap the hell our of their dark holes and get on the bandwagon and make changes that makes sense. Shame, but if a man fights back or takes matter into their own hands the they become the criminals ?????

  32. abroad
    May 14, 2014

    This is so damn disturbing
    to read. I am a survivor of sexual abuse and i have lived my life praying that young boys and girls do not have the same experience. Instead we fight for the victims and have a platform where they can feel some sort of justice, it seems like they are being protected by the court. Some of the biggest countries are making sure that the names and identity of sex offender are made available to the public once proven guilty to protect our children but Dominica want to protect them.

    • Concern citizen
      May 15, 2014

      We need to ask ourselves what is in it for the judge? She need re-tract her statement and say “anyone publish the the name(s) of the accused before judgement is made, she will put the full force of the law on such parties”. That is more acceptable.

  33. Bull Crap
    May 14, 2014

    Tell that judge………… what the hell she can do?she more powerful hen the constitution?………………?

  34. DC
    May 14, 2014

    This is so bizarre, it defies every understanding. This judge is attempting to deter media personnel from publicizing the names of child molesters by instilling fear that they will be severely punished, whereas, the convicted criminals are given a slap on the wrist. This is rather outrageous! My heart aches for our children. We need to amend these laws asap, otherwise, we will all pay. Bear in mind, these children are scarred for life. The very same judge will get a rude awakening with the increase of juvenile delinquents, brought before the courts. Let us stop protecting these criminals and stand up for our children!

  35. Shaka Zulu
    May 14, 2014

    A set of perverted criminals in this place. All i will say i want to know if i am leaving next to a child molestor so i can keep eyes on my kids whereabouts. I will let the judge know that it will be my trial if one of them were to get out and dare repeat ofence in my hood

  36. Catarina
    May 14, 2014

    Boy Dominica is still living in Slavery days! What a shame.

  37. SN
    May 14, 2014

    Court cases are public records and the judge is off base to attempt to censor the reporting of public information. However, I can understand where minor victims are involved, the names of minors can be kept secret to protect them. What will she do next? Prevent someone from getting a transcript of the trial?

    • Don't care
      May 14, 2014

      This is outrageous . …………………

  38. Candid Camera
    May 14, 2014

    Bernie Stephenson, you are contradicting an already flawed law. Even you are not above the law. By the way, that old law that protects sexual offenders will be abolished – hook or crook.

  39. Jejep
    May 14, 2014

    AN INJUNCTION NEEDS TO BE FILED AGAINST THE JUDGE WHO APPEARS NOT TO UNDERSTAND THE WORDING OF THE ORDINANCE AND HAS IN EFFECT THROUGH HER TERRIBLE INTERPRETATION, WRONGLY ORDERED THE MEDIA. CORRET ME IF I AM WRONG, BUT IN MY LIMITED UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW, THE WORD “CONVICTIONS ALSO COVERS A GUILTY PLEA, LEST SHE IS BEING CAUTIOUS IN CASE THE DEFENDANT REVERSES HIS PLEA AND CHOOSES TO BE TRIED.

  40. Anonymous
    May 14, 2014

    There goes the reporting of such cases. If people cannot identify the criminals, especially those who abuse women and children, why then should we make known the drug dealers? Dealers know they have to face a next dealer. They do their bizz among themselves. Sexual offenders, on the other hand, OFFEND anyone they can. I just don’t get it.

  41. SOLSOL
    May 14, 2014

    Well My Lady, you must be off your rockers! When someone is convicted they become public interest. EVERYONE should know who is in their neighborhood.
    By withholding the names of Sexual Offenders, you are not protecting the victim(s) of the past or the future. You are opening the avenue for these perverts to commit more of these heinous acts.
    I can understand during the hearing. But you are saying even after that person is convicted and sent to Prison…Ridiculous… Utter Rubbish!
    Have you placed yourself over the laws that you can’t seem to understand the phrase “that the name can be published after that person has been tried and convicted of the offense.”?
    Frankly I am embarrassed for you for putting such proposal out there.

    • There You Have It
      May 14, 2014

      Not only that. To protect the victim and alert the community, some jurisdictions compile lists of sexual offenders, particularly of paedophiles. Her decision is a retrograde step in this day and age.

    • May 20, 2014

      Not only should the name of the CONVICTED offender be published. His or her picture should be shown.

      Also the general vicinity of where he or she is going to be living after being released from jail should be made known .

      The media should be free to publish updates of his or her progress and also make known the general vicinity of where the person is living if he or she moves.

      If this seems harsh It must be understood it is not about the offender. It is about the safety of the victim and the public. Those who commit such crimes should know there will be a price to pay. This is especially true in the case of a pedophile.

      Those who have commented on DNO have overwhelmingly shown that they want the names of CONVICTED sex offenders revealed. It may be fair to say that this is a sampling of what the citizens of Dominica would want nation wide.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  42. Sylvester Cadette
    May 14, 2014

    A quote in the above article needs clarification: ”

    “I am warning that no media house or individual should publish the name(s) of any person charged and or convicted of any sexual offense,” she said at the opening of the May criminal assizes on Wednesday.

    Also “According to the Sexual Offenses Act of 1998, the identity of an accused person in a sex crime cannot be published even after that person is charged in court”

    “After a person is charged with an offense under this Act, any matter that is likely to lead members of the public to identify a person as a complainant or as the accused in relation to that charge shall not be published in any written publication or be broadcast in Dominica…” section 38.1 of the Act reads.

    It stated, however, that the name can be published “after that person has been tried and convicted of the offense.”

    SO WHAT IS CORRECT? That names can be published after trial and conviction or that they CANNOT be published AT ALL WHATSOEVER?

    Either way there is some contradiction between the quote attributed to the judge and the quote attributed as being a section of the Sexual Offenses Act of 1998.

    Clarification on this by DNO would be enlightening and erase ambiguity.

    Admin: The relevant section (38.1) of the Act has been since been included in the story. You may wish to read it.

    • SOLSOL
      May 14, 2014

      I am not a staff of DNO but maybe this will help a bit…An Accused person is a suspect, (an accusation laid against someone by a complainant/victim- true or not), A charged person is a defendant (after police investigations, officers decided that they have enough evidence to take that person to court) and a Convicted person is a defendant who has been found guilty in the Court of Law. (The juries/judges have determined that enough evidence was put forward to secure a conviction. At the level of the Courts it can go 2 ways, guilty or not guilty. Guilty, the person is either Fined or sentenced to prison or both, not guilty, the person is released from the charges, (they become free until or unless a retrial is requested/required.)

      Hope this help

      • Sylvester Cadette
        May 15, 2014

        Thanks SOLSOL for your explanation and truly appreciated. Quite frankly, No disrespect but All that you have mentioned I do understand, but sometimes you (me in this case) have to take it upon ourselves to highlight the ambiguity and speak up for others who may not understand, who may not seek clarification and therefore draw the wrong conclusion.

        We are therefore together in helping – sincerely, thanks for your posting.

    • Anon Again
      May 14, 2014

      Sylvester,
      There’s no contradiction. Someone accused of a sexual offence can’t be named in the media when accused, or charged, or during the trial or if they person is found not guilty. However, the person can be named if found guilty. What the judge is attempting to do here is a contravention of the law. The media should simply ignore her and name the convicts. What will she do? Issue arrest warrants? On what charge? Contempt of court? Now, if they choose to, media should contact their legal teams to end this nonsense.

      • Sylvester Cadette
        May 15, 2014

        Of Course there was a contradiction. You actually agreed in your contribution and which I applaud you for – You are in fact correct too ! The Judge said one thing and the Law states differently as relates the convicted person.

        Since I am not a lawyer, I wanted DNO to post the section for all to see so that all could be enlightened. THE LAW SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

        Thanks DNO for clarifying to the public and posting the relevant section of the law.

        Meanwhile, I think individuals should refrain from hurling unsavory and disgraceful accusations and aspersions in the direction of the Judge. She has to protect an accused until such time that they are convicted, proven guilty and sentenced.

        BUT THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW MUST BE BROUGHT AGAINST THESE SEX OFFENDERS ONCE THERE IS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CHARGE.

    • Anon Again
      May 15, 2014

      Sylvester,
      Your response to my post seems to suggest that there was an earlier copy of the story that didn’t include the relevant section of the law, which you would have seen. I only saw the story that is now up, hence my comment that there was no contradiction. Thanks for explaining.

      • Sylvester Cadette
        May 15, 2014

        Anon Again – I wish many people were as pleasant as you in making their contributions. your aim was to assist and educate and I applaud you for your honest and noble contribution.

        These are the contributions that we should be seeing (not because you agree with me) but really we must help each other. in understanding what is around us. So THANK YOU for helping me to be a better person

  43. Gina
    May 14, 2014

    Wait…mamsel confusing the scene. The media needs to get this straight. The law says they can be named after conviction and she is saying otherwise…based on the story.

    What ish is she on? Get that cleared DNO!

  44. May 14, 2014

    sorry but that should be on a website for every body to see it.

  45. Anonymous
    May 14, 2014

    “and or convicted of any sexual offense”

    convicted too???

  46. Cza
    May 14, 2014

    Anyone who go against the order “Will face full force of the court.” how is this a high court? More like a… court.

  47. Cza
    May 14, 2014

    We in 2014 not the past. revised that old criminal law book. More like protecting criminals

  48. Tri-State Beauty
    May 14, 2014

    Now that’s some b.s!! I can understand that no names before the case is completed, but after a mal-potanse destroy a child his/her name can’t be published? I want to know what Bernie on. Come get me where I am when I will take the liberty and make a sex-offender list on put on the net. Whose side is this woman on. Let me come out on DNO this afternoon. I can all but see those animals salivating over this.

    • omg
      May 15, 2014

      A sex offender list with their photos wouldn’t be a bad idea. I want to see if she will have jurisdiction.

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