Joseph disagrees with child sex abuse sentence

 Joseph said Dominicans have a right to ask questions on the sentence
Joseph said Dominicans have a right to ask questions on the sentence

Children’s Rights Advocate, Francis Joseph, is of the opinion that a man who was sentenced to eight years for sexually molesting three children should have been given a minimum of at least 20 years behind bars.

Last week 36-year-old Clife Elijah Charles pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with three minors, six, seven and eight years and was sentenced by High Court Judge Errol Thomas.

However, many Dominicans believe the sentenced was too lenient and Joseph said Dominicans have a right to be upset and ask questions.

“Outside of the law, which everyone respects, people have the right to demonstrate their frustration and disgust at the law,” he remarked. “It’s nothing personal on the judge and the team who works with him … the country should have picked it up that there is a gap in the law that we need to address.”

He believes that someone who sexually abuse a child “once, twice and three times, the sentence has to be sought of a minimum of either 10 years or 15 years.”

However, he noted, that there are no minimum clause in the law.

“So the judge will exercise his duty in abiding with the law, but the country is asking him to use his discretion,” Joseph said.

Joseph stated that the judge, in Charles’ case, could have raised the bar and give a minimum of 20 years and because of good behaviour and for pleading guilty, shave one or two years from that sentence.

“I think the public would have been happy with at least 15 years in the sense that you have been good, but on the other hand you have been bad and a naughty man to young people and it shouldn’t happen,” he said.

He went on to say that the defendant needs to learn a lesson and the public needs to know that people will not get a light sentence by “going to court and saying that I am sorry and pleading guilty.”

Joseph said the principle agency responsible for monitoring and addressing the issue of child abuse is the Ministry of Social Services.

“The social services department is key to ensure that there are sufficient officers out there who can do early detection and early intervention to stop it,” he stated. “If not, we are going to continue hearing of these cases going on and persons are getting off.”

He stated further that Child abuse has increased in homes because of the level of poverty and deprivation in Dominica.

“And that is where our government must take responsibility to understand the importance of social programmes that needs to be implemented …it has to be planned,” he said.

Joseph said that Convention on the Rights of the Child said that children are entitled to grow up in a safe environment without being affected mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

45 Comments

  1. Real Dominican
    May 7, 2015

    This man Clife Elijah Charles should have got 30-45 years hard labour, hard labour, hard labour for the three children he rape. Two of them the same day period. He should never come close or see anther child in his life again.

  2. Mary
    May 7, 2015

    Young innocents are being destroyed for life. A crime like this for any child
    D under age the death penalty should be brought back. Any other under age from 10 years , 25years should be minimal. This should not have happen in the first place. Mothers you all need to start training your kids so no one takes advantage of them. Please spend more time with your precious ones. This makes me sick, and discount for first time and pleading guilty,nonsense, should not happen in the first place.

  3. hmmm
    May 6, 2015

    Dominica has a serious problem. 8 years for three molestations??? That judge need to search his soul or see Dr Sharma. Some people are heartless. We are in the end times.

  4. Shameless
    May 6, 2015

    De country nice boy for a few crooked men and women while our children languish in an abusive society. We have been praying for a long time and I am led to believe that this is the only reason why evil has not taken over our beloved country. Let us continue to pray for our children for they are our future. I weep for all those who have been abused and pray that they will be able to move on with the help of god and society for those in authority does not care.

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :twisted:

  5. too late
    May 6, 2015

    @ The facts You are trying to remove any sort of blame or responsibility from the government or the PM. This is a PM who makes decisions for every ministry and every minister. How is it suddenly you are suggesting that they must approach the Pm and how do you know if they did? Did yo hear the Pm say that laws wont solve the problems but people have to spek up? Clearly these guys are not interested in amending these laws and Im saying that a man would not dig a pit for him to fall into.
    @ The Facts if you were a drug dealer would you amend laws to increase jail time for drug dealing?

    • The Facts
      May 6, 2015

      Let me inform you. You do not know me and you cannot read my heart and mind. I do not have to give you an excuse about what I stated. You cannot speak on my behalf.
      I refuse to join you and people as you to lambaste the PM. I said, LEAVE HIM ALONE! Let him lead Dominica. If he is at fault, he has to answer to God; not to you.
      Did you see him do anything? Did he do you, personally, any wrong? Then why do you consistently lambaste him? What you are doing, you are heaping hot burning coals on your head. Do you know what this is?
      How can your comments ever make you tranquil, happy and peaceful? Your heart is filled with hatred as you portray. Pray to God to erase this impediment on your heart which prevents you from being happy and living a peaceful life.
      I am not a negative person. I speak up when I have to and forcefully so. However, I look at the bright side. After all is said and done, I keep my peace.
      Speak up for what will help D/ca, not otherwise.

  6. Fummy
    May 6, 2015

    Even if they go to jail they live better than half of us out there, meals every day and what hard work they give them, hhhmmm
    we need to start doing something to them kind of people let them see we the community will not stand for their dirty minds and ways…
    I pray the Lord above to keep my kids safe and free from harm because god alone knows what I will do to a man that do my kids any harm….

  7. Intoxi
    May 6, 2015

    So you disagree What are you going to do about it, Call a match, a protest a demonstration do something do something to show you disagree….you in a position to organize something stop coming on the media and talk to time for talk has pass its time now to act. Do something Mr.

    • Views Expressed
      May 6, 2015

      I agree with Joseph, who has share his views and I also share you concern but please be reminded that we are all in this together whatever position you hold. Joseph has been public and openly indicate what and where the problem lies the question is what are YOU doing, have done or plan to do in this issue?
      Can you lead that match, at least in your community. Are you part of a youth group or sports group or any group. {Play your part as others have done. In your message above yo should have told us what you have done, so the question is What have you done Intoxi..????
      Get on board…

  8. never shameful
    May 6, 2015

    Where is the evangelist church know? HAH??
    Where allu know?
    Oh, bring another Jamaican an then u will see them..
    Rubbish

    • A
      May 6, 2015

      ikr where are they now? um whats his name has come and gone held his concert who wanted to go they went who disapproved stayed at their homes……now is the time for the evangelists to come out in full force and numbers now they silent

    • May 15, 2015

      A sex pervert commits a crime this serious against a minor and the best you can do is mock God’s church?

      What does the church – any church – have to do with this case?

      Your thankfully brief comment is out of context and totally inappropriate.

      Apart from commenting (expressing an opinion) as I am doing now what can a pastor do about a case of sexual child abuse? We encourage people who know about such cases to report them . But the investigation is the responsibility of the police and the trial is up to the judge and/or jury.

      Why would you even mention the church? You said “evangelist” church. I think you meant “evangelical” church.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  9. never shameful
    May 6, 2015

    My ppl we need to protest this NONSENSE in Dominica.
    Come on man, only 8 yrs? I see 25 to life. These innocent lil children are mentally damaged for life.
    Come on judge COME ON!! Rubbish

  10. Views Expressed
    May 6, 2015

    Thor….you are right, we all conclude and not questioning Judge per se. However there is no minimum, so it is open on judge`s discretion. Question is how did he arrive at the sentence he laid out and not give a sentence say of 12 or 15 years as Joseph, other professionals and the public are suggesting. IF an appeal comes up them that’s the prerogative of the victim and his legal team. Let the process be seen to be working and transparent and also reflect on the nature of the case and the crime.

  11. a team effort
    May 6, 2015

    In agreement with Mr.Joseph I believe that the social services has FAILED. in regards to these circumstances. my opinion is that, each school should have a protocol added where a social worker can be assigned to schools aided by the teachers to assist in pointing out children they see that are being affected by these problems….eg the child has low grades,lashing out , alienating themselves, being tardy, no parent presence at functions -pta-sports- meets. very simple for teachers to notice especially kids coming from poor homes or their behavior has drastically changed. they would notify the student counselors or social workers to dig deeper by doing regular house visits to understand the issue and do what needs to be done counselling , notifying police, nurses and welfare division to assist the child and family properly and to eliminate molesters if any. that can be a major help , sometimes parents are just not their and are blind sometimes at least help can be from the school

  12. Truth be Told
    May 6, 2015

    Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches (DAEC) what are your views on this matter? Does this not concern your mission?

    • Music Producer
      May 6, 2015

      Nah, they’re not blocking anyone from making a living…they’re too busy sucking the life from the unsuspecting public…Shame on DAEC. Show up for the three little girls, or next time an artist comes to generate funds, SHUT UP! The DAEC should be boycotted and banned from making any type of national decision that might otherwise affect the generation of jobs and revenue for Dominicans. Christians in Dominica, now is your time to show your true colors and stop making monetary donations to the churches, then and only then, will the DAEC come forward and speak up on behalf of those children.

  13. uk dominica
    May 6, 2015

    I truly agree with this gentleman the sentence does not fit the crime. Once again it is a man handing out the sentence, he has no idea of the pain and the life long effects this hideous act has on those poor innocent children.
    My heart goes out to them and I truly believe that the sentence should be revisited. Dominica and your people wake up and by the way some people have a habit of blaming the children I witnessed that whilst visiting Dominica for example a group of women in Grandbay were discussion a case and their response to what the man did was to state “it is her fault she in her business long time” honestly I could not believe my ears this was an innocent 10 year old and the person committing the act was 17 he got the crown the child got the bad name.
    Needless to say I laid into them but got no where because these ideas are instilled in the people we need work shops and we need to be showing the perpetrators that it is wrong and that a lengthy prison term is the only…

  14. Nous Meme
    May 5, 2015

    Sad case all around. Who is protecting our children and women in Dominica from these sex fiends!!!! Who gets off on babies!!!! That abuse is about POWER over those who can’t defend themselves and the sickos are not just your ordinary malaway on the streets but roam the halls of prestige in our society.

    Mr. Joseph, you give a voice to the victims and for that I applaud you. The average Dominican is not aware of the depths of your work to protect and serve our children and their families and that is especially true when you exposed the illegal adoption of our Kalinago children in the international arena.

    The government should have made used your God given talents in the Department of Social Services.

    I am concerned about the deplorable conditions that our sick pediatric (and adult) patients stay in at the hospital. The State House is very beautiful and well lit. I suggest that we move our patients to the State House and rename it The Princess Margaret Hospital.

  15. Love All
    May 5, 2015

    If the maximum for sexual abuse is 25years that is for one offense but you talking about three offenses. Ok he pleaded guilty let’s say reduce the maximum by half that is twelve and a half multiply by three that should be thirty-seven and a half years. I think that would send a message .

  16. May 5, 2015

    As I read the article, which had some good points, one thing came to mind. Poverty is not the main cause for sexual abuse or abuse of any kind. You will find abuse in every socio-economic environments and from way back when. It happens in very rich societies, also in poor ones and middle class ones. The blame should fall squarely on the person and people who prey on our young. Whether rich, poor, or middle class.

    As I continue to read the article for whatever reason the Mendes brothers came to mind. They were from a very rich family and who were tried and convicted for murdering their parents. Their defence was they were abused physically and sexually. Was it true? I do not know. They were found guilty of the murders. But they using that defence, tell us sexual abuse and other type of abuse can happen not only to the poor.

    Trying to make it a political issue is further harming the young children. Because in our blame game we seem to forget who did the crime.

    • Views Expressed
      May 6, 2015

      Can you please alert us, enlighten us please where this is made “Trying” to make it a “Political issue”.
      YOu need to be aware of some of the activities that go on as a result of sexual abuse and the intrusion and compromising of young girls and their families.

  17. The Facts
    May 5, 2015

    He is not an innocent man and is known to the police due to his previous convictions of murder and rape. This should have been taken into account to appropriately sentence him.
    Poverty and deprivation are being blamed for their willful, wicked, dirty actions and toward minors. Those who are poor and so-called deprived are not the only unemployed ones. Furthermore, if they are unable to financially support themselves, they will receive some funds from the government.
    Where did he get the $150 to offer the little girl?
    You should ask them how they happen to be poor and deprived. What caused their situation? People are responsible for themselves and should be ambitious enough to seek employment according to their capabilities. What has he been doing?
    Some blame the government for their laissez faire attitude, living a leisure life and doing wicked things. When they are idle, they will always find some mischief to do. For some, whose fault is it?

    • The Facts
      May 5, 2015

      We are Christ’s feet, hands, body and mind on earth. Let us not make excuses for them. God won’t and by no means in this case.
      If only we could get a glimpse of Our Lord in Heaven, we probably would see him in tears, crying over this atrocity committed to those little ones which will mar them for life.
      He will also not exonerate them for sexually abusing children. God is extremely compassionate toward his dear, young, innocent and vulnerable children.
      For God to forgive that man, he must genuinely commence worshiping him, fervently praying to him with a humble and contrite heart, begging him for forgiveness for what he did to specifically the little children. This includes the woman he raped and murdered. He cannot undo what he did to them but he must also make penance and sacrifice in the form of repentance for God to forgive him.
      The earthly punishment should fit the crime. He is fortunate that capital punishment is no longer meted out in Dominica.

  18. Anonymous
    May 5, 2015

    Is it that child abuse has increased or that there is more reporting than in the past?

  19. May 5, 2015

    Unfortunately prison term–whether it is a 100 years–does not change the mind, heart and soul of people like that man. Those people need is an exorcism, to remove those sinful desire from them.

    I am sorry, I am guilty, good behavior, years in the jail cell, is no form of healing for those people–they need to sincerely turn to God for His healing. Except that this must happen by their own decision; no one can force them to do so

  20. The Voice of god?
    May 5, 2015

    That’s not even slap on the risk. Sexually molested three minors six, seven and eight years and you getting 8 years? What message are you sending to him and others? I mean when the man gets out the six year old will only be 14, the seven year old will be 15 and 8 year old will be 16? Alas Dominica! How do we treat our young children like this and expect a better Dominica? Yet our politicians are not outraged and there is no cry from the religious body? Something is very wrong with this country

    • The Facts
      May 5, 2015

      Do you mean “wrist”?

    • May 6, 2015

      Each little girl parent/s should take him to court separately.What they can do is each parent/s of each child take him to court.Then he will serve time for each child.Who recommend out all three as one case is to blame.

  21. Truth be Told
    May 5, 2015

    Great contribution Joseph. However, the blind followers will take this as an attack on their Government and attempt to crucify you for speaking up! I fear it is almost too late for Dominica as a society, for we have lost our way. The country is adrift morally, socially, economically, politically, and even environmentally to a certain extent as we begin to undo environmental protection on designated areas!

    • chic
      May 6, 2015

      @truth be told – I do not think it is too late for Dominica. With planning and the right approach, Dominicans can turn things around. But they must be serious. They must know what they are doing and not let handouts fool them.

    • /
      May 6, 2015

      can i give you half a thumbs up?

    • A
      May 6, 2015

      it’s not too late. There are other children who will grow up. Sometimes, someone needs to stand up regardless of the consequences.

      The mere fact that one person chose to speak up means that there is still hope that we have not completely lost our way…there is always hope for a better future.

  22. Med61
    May 5, 2015

    For what the abuser has done he gets eight years , but the children get a life sentence. How is that justice

  23. wisewoman
    May 5, 2015

    Three children are damaged for life and this creep gets 8 years? This is because he pleaded guilty and it’s his ‘first’ offense. How do we know this never happened before? This is the first time he got caught. He violated young children and should spend the next 15-20 years (behind bars) planning how he will make a positive contribution to the world. Where is the outrage???????

    • The Facts
      May 5, 2015

      It may be his first sexual offense of the three children. It is not his first offense per se. He was previously convicted for murder and rape. These are two horrible offenses. The other is, he is an adult and shown have known better than sexually interfering with the children. These are reasons why he should have been given a stiffer sentence.

      • May 6, 2015

        What is he doing out if he was convicted of murder and rape?So the judge was taken in by his lawyers so called speech that he did not waste the court’s time?

      • The Facts
        May 6, 2015

        DNO did not make it explicit how long ago this occurred and how many years he spent in prison. Someone commented that he raped and murdered a white woman on a yacht. He was later pardoned. I do not know why he was pardoned. But look at what he did to the children. This pardon should be revoked. He did not live up to this pardon. Even then, it is my feeling that the Judge should have taken these crimes and convictions into account when sentencing him.
        I am not a judge or an attorney. However it appears to me he did not spend enough time in prison for what he had previously done. He probably was not remorseful at all but played a game of pretense.
        For the safety of little girls and women, that man does not deserve to walk the streets of Dominica ever again.
        I do not think this case is over. We may hear more and from DNO. :lol:

    • A
      May 6, 2015

      that was 3 offenses that we’ve now heard of….three.

      First offense my foot….smh

  24. too late
    May 5, 2015

    Mr Francis Joseph thanks sir for having the courage to tell this government that they need to step in. The problem is men have misused the country’s resources and have not invested in alleviating poverty and growing the economy. Instead they have gotten rich then election time fool poor people with handouts and sewo.
    Further more Mr Joseph i will say again that it is my opinion that this government and PM seem reluctant to touch the laws and put systems in place to curb the situation
    Awaiting thumbs down again because ” We love our PM”

  25. too late
    May 5, 2015

    Read these lines carefully Dominicans then give me thumbs down when I say these corrupt men including Roosvelt must GO !

    “It’s nothing personal on the judge and the team who works with him … the COUNTRY should have picked it up that there is a gap in the law that we need to address.”

    Joseph said the principle agency responsible for monitoring and addressing the issue of child abuse is the Ministry of Social Services.

    “The social services department is key to ensure that there are sufficient officers out there who can do early detection and early intervention to stop it,” he stated. “If not, we are going to continue hearing of these cases going on and persons are getting off.”

    He stated further that Child abuse has increased in homes because of the LEVEL of POVERTY and DEPRIVATION in Dominica.

    “And that is where our GOVERNMENT must take RESPONSIBILITY to understand the importance of social programmes that needs to be implemented …it has to be planned,” he said.

    • The Facts
      May 5, 2015

      It is not only the government. There are authorities as the social service within the government who should be the ones to initiate changes to this Law. What are they doing about that? What do they plan to do? They are the ones to contact the PM or an authority in his department about this to set the ball rolling.

  26. Hmmmmm
    May 5, 2015

    I couldnt agree more Mr.Joseph !

  27. Thor
    May 5, 2015

    I share your sentiment, BUT if he was sentenced to such a long prison term, there is a better than even chance it would have been reduced on appeal.

    The judge has to be guided by precedence, until the law is changed to allow for minimum sentences.

    • Views Expressed
      May 6, 2015

      Thor….you are right, we all conclude and not questioning Judge per se. However there is no minimum, so it is open on judge`s discretion. Question is how did he arrive at the sentence he laid out and not give a sentence say of 12 or 15 years as Joseph, other professionals and the public are suggesting. IF an appeal comes up them that’s the prerogative of the victim and his legal team. Let the process be seen to be working and transparent and also reflect on the nature of the case and the crime.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available