Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill to go before Parliament before year end

Blackmoore said the amendment is a duty owned to vulnerable groups
Blackmoore said the amendment is a duty owed to vulnerable groups

Justice Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, has assured the public that the highly anticipated draft Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill will go before Parliament before the end of the year.

Speaking at the end of Phase One of the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project on Friday, Blackmoore revealed that Cabinet’s discussion on the amendment has ended.

“That amendment recommendation is before Cabinet, and I wanted to say to you, basically, discussion on that very important amendment is basically concluded, and before the end of the year, [it] will be taken to Parliament,” he said.

He elaborated that one of the intentions of the amended Act will be to “ensure that our young people—our girls and our boys—are given further protection under the law, and to ensure that persons who are charged with the care of our young boys and girls are held accountable, and are obligated, therefore, to report cases of abuse to the authorities.”

The Minister stated that the amended Act is a duty owed to youth, women, and other vulnerable groups.

Following a staggering 135 reported cases of child sexual abuse in Dominica in 2014, Blackmoore stated, in January 2015, that the government would establish systems to better equip prosecutors as they deal with the problem of sexual offenses on the island.

In October 2015 a special committee was appointed under the chairmanship of legal Consultant, Ray Harris to look at the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act of 1998 and to make some recommendations for amendments.

In January 2016 Harris submitted a report to Blackmoore with an Amendment Bill to the Sexual Offences Act.

On March 7, 2016, Attorney General, Levi Peter announced that a draft Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill, comprising of 17 sections, would soon be taken to Parliament for approval.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, revealed that he had been doing numerous consultations on child sexual abuse, with “no less than 105 people.”

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24 Comments

  1. bigger
    June 15, 2016

    Oh Dear The high and mighty Francisco is a wife beater. He accuses his wife for lying on him well there is no smoke without fire you probably didn’t hit her on her face to leave a mark but who feels it knows it.You accuse people of unsavoury things which you have no proof about. I hope this episode will make you respect woman more. I cannot understand for the the life of me why a happy woman would go to the police and accuse her husband of a criminal conduct. I am sure there are more skeletons in your cupboard

  2. breakit
    June 15, 2016

    This guy seems to be always praying!!!

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    June 13, 2016

    I hope the amendments are not programmed to protect those who are already arrested and charged with inappropriate behavior with under age children.

    I would hope the amendments would be retroactive to dates prior to the dates of the allegation, and arrest. Let us hope your amendments are not designed in a way to render the case dormant and the criminal has their way to continue molesting children, and get away with their crimes.

    We hope that one of the amendment will read any parent accepting bribes in money or any gifts of value to influence the parents to encourage their children not to testify in court against the accuse, of such crimes shall be charge for obstruction of justice, and subject to a prison sentence of no less than five years, and a fin equal to the amount of money they accept in bribes or gifts of any kind from the assailant.

    And the police should have the right to pursue litigation without the corporation of the victim and parent!

    • June 14, 2016

      Fransico:

      Your last sentence.

      Once a charge has been laid NOBODY should be allowed to back out! The victim, the parents, and witnesses must not be allowed to change their mind. If a crime was committed it was against the nation, its flag, and its government, and not only against the victim.

      We saw this happen a while back and this is something that should be nailed down!!!! Yes, the police should pursue the charge. Not only do they have a right. It should be their duty.

      I hope somebody will jump on this and ride it to the finish line. I am passionate because I know too many things can happen. Victims have been paid to drop the charges. Witnesses have been bribed to step down. Threats have been made. It must NOT happen.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      (Former Licensed Private Investigator under the Ontario Provincial Police. License Number 142306)

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        June 14, 2016

        Dr. Hill you are absolutely correct!

        I was married to a woman who accused me of beating her; she called the police, and told them how I beat her up. She did not have a single mark on her, the police recognized that; and told me since they were called, and an obligation (complaint) is made against me they must arrest me!

        They did; I spent the night in jail; by morning she ran to the District Attorney, and told him she lied I did not hit her, which was true; and she wish to drop the charges against me. She was told since I am arrested even if she does not wish to pursue the matter the police and the prosecution is obligated to take the matter to court, and the alternative will be no less than 180 days in jail.

        When she left the DA’s office she bailed me out: the only way I got away without going to jail and became a jail bird, is because I was advised by a lawyer to plea guilty to domestic violence, and tell the court I would like to seek Martial counseling for me and my wife…

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        June 14, 2016

        The court agreed if I went for six month counseling at the end he will dismiss the charges, which he did. It however cost me twenty-five thousand dollars for counseling, plus I had to pyanother thousand to the victims of crime fund!

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        June 14, 2016

        “obligation ”

        I meant allegation!

  4. June 13, 2016

    It is an urgent matter which is pending for years ,,,get it done..

    • You are so right.

      Every few months we get another press release or somebody comes out and talks on the subject but nothing ever happens.

      Anger is building. One only has to read the comments every time a child sex offender gets his knuckles wrapped.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  5. FED UP
    June 13, 2016

    Passing is the first step. Enforcement is the next step and the most important.

    • June 14, 2016

      Exactly!

      This was the first thought to pop into my mind.

      At this time people are hoping it even gets passed.

      But when it reaches the level of enforcement, well … that’s where things break down.

      How well are the present laws already on the books being enforced? You may say “Very well.” Honestly, I hope you are right. But I have heard some stories that were absolute nightmares.

      Nevertheless people are seeing a flicker of light. Minister Blackmore is reason for hope.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  6. Not in their interest to amend
    June 13, 2016

    What does it take to amend the Sexual offences Act? The Laws dealing with our Cabrits National Park was quickly amended in Parliament by Skerritt and his DLP Gov’t. The eyes had it in Parliament and so the DLP Gov’t was able to carve out 15 ACRES from our Cabrits National Park and gave all that land to Range Developments, the foreign co. plus our passports to sell to make millions for themselves.

    But DLP Govt’ talking about by the end of the Year, Gov’t will present bill to Parliament? Wickedness. Our minors continue to be abused, taken advantage of BIG Time

    Dominicans, by now, realize that these guys are reluctant to amend that sexual Offences Act. We know why. Wickedness, throwing our minors under the bus.

    • June 14, 2016

      QUESTION: If you throw a stone into a pack of dogs which dog yaps the loudest?

      ANSWER: The dog that got hit.

      It would be interesting to see who approves and who disapproves of each proposed change.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  7. June 13, 2016

    Doe partwo, echo, part two. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Man you know we still wining. Why change any thing? like a stuck record we still wining. Laba ka twavie. Only in Dominica!

  8. For Dominica
    June 13, 2016

    what are some of the recommendations? Who were the consulted stakeholders who advised on this new bill? how does it protect the public with special regard minors? Dont pass a nonsense bill just to make your government seem like you are working when the bill itself may be useless.

    • June 13, 2016

      “…recommendations…”?

      People would like to see a law that makes it mandatory to report known cases of sexual child abuse, and a
      stiff penalty for not complying.

      They want a shorter time gap between when a charge is laid and when it goes to court.

      I see many comments expressing dissatisfaction with the sentences being handed down for cases of sexual child abuse.

      People want an online sex registry for the benefit of:

      foster care authorities, case workers, future landlords, potential employers, customs officers, people who do security for parks, community centers, and schools, etc.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • TIna Alexander
      June 16, 2016

      We at the NGO Coalition for the Protection of Children were extensively consulted and we presented the concerns raised by the public at four public meetings in Roseau, Portsmouth adn Marigot. We felt heard and for the most part saw our suggestions incorporated into the ammendments which were not only presented by the committee but were also drafted.

      We are eagerly awaiting the next sitting of parliament when we were promised the ammendments would be debated and hopefully adopted. We have been waiting since January 2016. I hope the end of the year the Minister is talking about is the end of the financial year!.

  9. Chief Jaco
    June 13, 2016

    Will Joshua Francis be on the UWP opposition team to debate the bill in parliament? Please answer the question Lennox.

    • meeeeee
      June 13, 2016

      Don’t you know that Lennox has asked Joshua to leave but Joshua has his own selfish agenda. Lennox is taken before a court by your Party – who have raped our children of their innocence. Ian Pinard and the likes signed the affidavit that Lennox has to pay for calling the DLP politicians rapist (or something like that). And there comes video taped proof of the atrocities that is done to our children. Lennox stood by his prinicples and ask Joshua to resign but Joshua full of ego and pride and lacking humility refuse to resign – while He and DLP and ignorant persons like you , make it look like Joshua sexual conversation or whatever was with Lennox. Lennox did not screw Joshua , Joshua voilated that innocence of our children.
      You should remove your head in the sand and for once stand for something that is right. all things cannot be politics. Somewhere ethics and morals must be upheld. What would Jesus do with these politicians abusing their position.

      • Chief Jaco
        June 13, 2016

        So Long Me, are you telling me that Joshua Francis is now an independent candidate and he no longer flies the UWP blue flag? Last I heard you all kicked him out as deputy leader, but said on media that a man is innocent unless proven guilty. I am putting it to you that this statement from your leader indicates that Joshua will enter parliament {if he isn’t stopped before} and sit on the UWP side. The point is that UWP lies so much and so quickly that you usually forget the last lie before you make the new one.

      • Truth and Knowledge
        June 14, 2016

        My friend, you have completely missed the point. The contributor’s enquiry was not about Joshua’s UWP position and internal power struggle. Rather it is a very interesting enquiry. The UWP’s actions will demonstrate their true commitment (or lack of commitment) to integrity. Will they allow Joshua (who they claim is unfit to hold office in the UWP to represent and be the face of the UWP in Parliament?

    • June 13, 2016

      maybe not but the cabinot of real men will mr./ms.chief jaco.

  10. AAGabriel
    June 13, 2016

    I believe it when I see it…

    • June 14, 2016

      Considering the length of time government has been talking about this one cannot blame anybody for being sceptical.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

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