Pastor highlights need to change age of consent in light of kidnapping controversy

Pastor Randy Rodney

Pastor of the Truth and Grace Fellowship Global and president of the Dominica Evangelical Churches Association (DAEC), Randy Rodney, has weighed in on the controversy over a decision by the police to pursue charges against a teenager for making what they say, is a false report about having been kidnapped.

The police reported last week that 16 year-old Rianna Serrant of Pte. Michel was abducted on Saturday March 9, 2019 by two unknown men while on her way to visit her grandmother. That same morning, her father said during a radio interview, that Rianna informed her family, via a text message, that she had been kidnapped.

The teenager was found at Stockfarm the following day after a resident who had seen her, called the police.

The police have since indicated, after investigating the matter, that Rianna was not kidnapped and her story was false. And while the girl’s family contends that she was raped, Acting Deputy Police Chief, Lincoln Corbette insisted at a news conference on Monday, that the teenager was not raped. He said the police were convinced that the girl had arranged the whole matter and said charges would be brought against her.

Meantime, Pastor Rodney, in a radio interview on Tuesday, said this situation presents an opportunity for the authorities to take a critical look at the age of consent in Dominica which according to law, is 16 years.

He said the police are handling a matter which they are not able to deal with reasonably, outside of what the legislation provides because the child can give sexual consent.

Rodney maintained that a child who is unable to vote or is not mature enough to make the decision as to who to elect to government and any other legal matters at the age of sixteen, should not be given the right to consent to sex.

“I don’t think they should be given the right to consider who should sleep with them because it means you are vacillating the law based on how people’s emotions are. Once you have crossed that line and you decided now that, that child is able to give sexual consent at age sixteen, then you have a different question altogether,” he asserted.

The pastor believes that this is a classic case of an imbalance in the law because, at sixteen, a child is under the jurisdiction of her parents.

“A child who can give sexual consent at sixteen, who by law, does not run her own life because by law, she can’t give consent to be married; she can’t do anything else. Her parents are responsible for her. That’s a classic case of an imbalance in the law,” he said. “The child can give sexual consent but is under her mother’s control or her parents’ control; something is wrong with that from the start which is the exact same thing that some of us echoed and nobody paid attention to us. “

Rodney submits that the question of punishment and counselling are not exclusive. He said if someone has done wrong, they need to face the consequences of their actions and the question of counselling must come up.

“When you decide not to punish people or give them a certain level of correction or discipline for violating principles and laws, what you do is, you’re building a society of lawbreakers,” he stated.

People will think that they can break the law, he said, because someone else got away with the same offence, so they should be able to get away with it as well.

“We have to be careful that whatever we do, has to be from the principled perspective and not from the ‘vie ki vie’ [without proper basis] perspective as we now see in dealing with this child,” he cautioned.

Pastor Rodney advised the parents that they should walk circumspectly as far as the matter is concerned. He explained that this generation of children is smarter and cautions the parents to take wise counsel and refrain from  the media publicity. He recommends that the child be taken to a professional counsellor where personal conversations should take place.

“Stop the interface with the public because your child business must not be in the public. Deal with your child as best as you can and forget everybody else. If the police decide to do that, then you deal with it from a legal perspective,” he suggested.

“Going on the radio making statements about your child whether you think you’re defending them or not is not good. Some things will come back and slap you,” Rodney warned. “It is not going to be good for you or good for the child. Preserve that child who has already made some blunders that need to be corrected, and that child needs to be brought back to walk in the right place.”

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  1. Man bites dogs
    March 15, 2019

    I was wondering about that same thing last night “We rent to people not children” But then what does one expect from a Linton DNA and follower. Thank you Elizabeth

  2. March 14, 2019

    U sound like a fool my brother. Over seas is only America? I don’t know how from my statement it seems that am insinuating that I was living in the us

  3. Viekivie
    March 13, 2019

    Great advice coming from a man who knows all about topics of this nature… well said pastor Rod!

  4. Ernest
    March 13, 2019

    The girl was with the man why he did not call the police?
    The police community is weak and crippled they can charge the school child but they afraid of the men.
    weakness weak weak especially the chif of police you weak little girls you are not afraid of shame on you do you job protect and serve God Will Remember your dids WEAK!

  5. March 13, 2019

    Are 16 year Olds that naive? . I left secondary school at 16. I went overseas that same year. By 17 I was already renting and paying courts for furniture and other household items. And I swear I made more bad decesions when I was in my twenties than when I was 16 and 17. You think kids are more promiscuous now? Hmm talk to some 80 year old women, they had 7 kids for 7 different men and don’t be supprise to hear she have kids for a man and his son to. Lol 😂.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 13, 2019

      “I went overseas that same year. By 17 I was already renting and paying courts for furniture and other household items.”

      Sometimes when something is said that is not altogether true, some of us sense it or actually l now that the truth is distorted.

      Whereas you mentioned paying Courts for furniture, I suspect you might be talking about Courts in Dominica.

      If you are insinuating that you came to the U. S and went to Courts which I no longer exists in California, and apply for credit at age 17, and got it; then something went wrong.

      Because one is considered an adult the day they turn 18 years old in North America; Europe too. In any event on that credit application, you would have to state your date of birth (age) and social security number, and place of employment, and how much you earn per week.

      People do not rent and give credit to minors; 17 years old in America:  that’s illegal. 

      We rent to people, not children!

      • March 14, 2019

        We rent to people, not children–Telemaque

        Who is “we”? And what is the difference between “people” and “children”? Are the two not the same human beings. As you already know it, I started to work as an elementary school teacher when I was 16 years old; which means that I joined my father to provide the daily bread for our family. How do you differentiate between my father and me?

      • Man bites dogs
        March 15, 2019

        I was wondering about that same thing last night “We rent to people not children” But then what does one expect from a Linton DNA and follower. Thank you Elizabeth

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        March 15, 2019

        I have a great mind not to respond to you and Mr. Dog, because both of you are two idiots!If you two cannot recognized an error, you do not deserve a respond:

        As for you that ole woman, you know very well, I own lots of apartments and house which I rent to people.

        I am the we!

        Besides apartment owners do not rent to people at age 17, that is illegal; it is illegal to conduct business which involve exchanging money with anyone under the age of 18 years old in America.

        And by the way Elizabeth I doh talking to you no more, I told you that this Monday!

        I told you I done wid you eh!

        Bad woman, bad, bad woman!

  6. Amarossa
    March 13, 2019

    I tell you even at 18 they are still considered a child. My niece was having some health issues. She went to the Roseau Health Center. The nurse sent her home and told her to come back with an adult relative.

  7. March 13, 2019

    What does sex have to do with voting or marriage? The majority of dominican women over the age of 18 are no more matured than a sixteen year old. Mentally you can’t tell the difference. Drivers liscence can be obtained in the US at 16 but you can’t drink alcohol legally till you are 21. So it seems that the age for voting and marriage need to be lowered at sixteen.

  8. Albert A. P.
    March 13, 2019

    For the first time in my life I agree with Pastor Rodney and even 1000%. A child is a child period and the law shouldn’t give authority in one area and take it away or make it illegal in another. The family has handled this all wrong. This constant running to social media to speak about every minute issue related to the incident is hurting the child more than anything. The public knows her name, her address and now everything else about her thanks to her family.

  9. Lol
    March 13, 2019

    Age of consent has nothing to do with that, when the church and people like Pastor Randy stop preaching politics and start preaching the gospel and let people know they need to repent and turn from their sins, then we will see change in our land. I have listen to pastor Randy program and not for onece he tell people they need Jesus, they need salvation, everytime is a politics, politices.

  10. Breathe
    March 13, 2019

    I fully agree with the gentleman.

  11. carlty
    March 13, 2019

    I agree that she should be punished & taught a lesson on the severity of her actions. But one discussion that has been roaming around for years is raising the age of consent. At first, I did share your sentiments for all the reasons that you’ve stated. But after listening to all the discussions, I have learned several things. The age of consent being 16 didn’t restrict those under it from partaking in these acts, getting pregnant, contracting std’s, running away and plain old taking their own way. What we will have is an increase in the number of young men in the same age range becoming sexual offenders. What I do propose though, is we teach our children to be opened and honest, freedom to speak, safe sex (because be honest, hormones lead them just like they did us and still do), take more responsibility of our children (keep an eye on them, quit exposing them to social media with phones), really inform them on such instead of the 3 word speech”DON’T HAVE SEX”

  12. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    March 13, 2019

    No mention about the shootings in town or the EU Blacklist. Pastor Rodney is selective as usual. I wonder whether or not he is an Old Testament or New Testament Preacher.

    • March 14, 2019

      Anthony P., may I ask, why should he have to bring those two other subjects into this discussion; especially this EU subject. I thought that you were a smart person, but you changed my mind with that comment above.

  13. Envar
    March 13, 2019

    Pastor Rodney, I cannot believe what i just read. I am very very disappointed. You mean for all the brains on island, those in welfare and so on, it had to take you to deliver a wonderful piece of commentary like this.

    No wonder you are doing so well and that you are truly blessed, i concur with your sentiments 100%. I do believe that we should review the law books and put everything to 16 or 18. i do believe that the people who put the age to 16 did if for their own personal use and they are criminally responsible. Yet a few years ago a certain parliamentarian suggested putting it to 12.

  14. Channel 1
    March 13, 2019

    The age of consent should be the age when one gets married as an adult.

    Now with the perversions of homosexuality and transgenderism being legalized in various places, some of us have continued to point out that EVERY other perversion out there will have to be legalized.

    As we speak, there are various entities in Europe & elsewhere becoming more embolden to push the idea that pedophilia ought not be viewed as an abnormal sexual behaviour. Certain groups including some psychologists are pushing this idea y’all (it’s all on the internet).

    So once the pro-pedophile groups start championing for their rights and freedom from discrimination & bawling “#LoveTrumpsAll” and insert their agents in positions of power & influence (copying The Homosexual Agenda Playbook), expect to see calls for the age of consent to be lowered.

    In some countries, the minimum age of consent is as low as 12.

  15. Bob Denis
    March 13, 2019

    “MEM BAGHAI” , Why should a young Woman seek consent , in most cases Man Made ? Gender Laws on the former Plantations need changing , and Women must play a most important part in putting in place what is needed to be governed by and respected . The young Woman was and is being disrespected by both the Police and MEDIA , e.g publishing her name and picture . Women should come together to support each other in both good and not so-good . Some yrs back SPARROW sang a Calypso about a beautiful Black Dominican born Woman by the name of “MELDA” she lived on Kennedy ave then, the Sister was the scrum of every who know what , the young Woman , only 2 generations removed , seems to be going through that very same ridicule . This should not be .

    ADMIN: Her photo was released in attempt to locate her when, at the time, the information being put out was that she may have been kidnapped.

  16. Amarossa
    March 13, 2019

    Pastor Rodney I agree with you 100%!!

  17. Lincoln
    March 13, 2019

    Pastor, with all due respect I support you on that one.
    Let them take notice.
    What ever will be will be

  18. Man bites dogs
    March 13, 2019

    Randy Rodney, You are my relative but sometimes I have to say you wearing your pants back to front. The police is not on about age of consent as you saying. The police are talking about a fake kidnapping of which the young lady believed to have done, and it’s the police duty to take actions about such a thing, please let the police do their jobs and stop all that rubbish and crap you guys going on with. Randy when it’s your friends behaving badly you don’t say a word about it. So shut up and once again let the police carry on with their job.

    • Sandy
      March 13, 2019

      Why everything in Dominica has to be political or people giving rude remarks Is there no respect for each other on this Island are we always have make it about politics or Religion. This is a sad matter and truly it begins with this young girl age plain and simple.If she was of age then we would not be there playing like or disIike.these young girls are young and its time that the Age of consent raises and then those men that like to messe with a under age children should be sent to jail.but this is not about tony neither skerritt.

  19. Shipahoy
    March 13, 2019

    True pastor. I concur 100%

  20. I must admit
    March 13, 2019

    Ok, so how old was the girl that forced a government minister that was elected from the south, to resign again? Now did the police investigate the matter to see a. If it happened or not b. If any more politicians were involved? C. Did that young lady lie or not?
    In as much as I support Pas. Randy’s, I must admit that the problem in Dominica is much bigger than age of consent. It is a new kind of lawlessness where those that were supposed to protect the laws of Dominica are the violators and suppressors of that same law. We see it during the firebombing of the house of GON EMMANUEL. We saw it when two barrels of guns arrived in Dominica after they were tipped by the US. We saw it when a certain politician lied about his citizenship and so on and so on

  21. %
    March 13, 2019

    Pastor Rodney, I am sure that you have seen the level of decay society has experienced over the past 20years..My problem with punishing the child is that it will show that our law is selective, because Skerrit and Tony two adults, wasted the police time to a greater extent, and just walked away!!!Are they untouchable?? .No questions asked of them? .
    The law should be blind and justly applied..
    All the exposure is sufficient punishment, given the circumstances.I fully support professional counselling.
    When a society has decayed,, that is the result!!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

  22. BMB
    March 13, 2019

    Official figures in the United Kingdom, and many parts of Europe and the United States, showed that up to a third of teenagers were having sex before the age of consent, although the age of consent in the UK has been set at 16 since 1885. Splitting hairs and shifting goal posts doesn’t change a thing. However, sex education in schools does. Teaching children self-respect and moral values at the HOME is the corner stone. I saw grown A-double ‘S’ women during carnival half naked dancing next to their own teen girls, then Ash Wednesday you want to tell your child, “respect yourself”? Increasing the age to 18 will see only ONE result; an increase of sexual offences on the Cause List at the High Court Criminal Assizes annually.

    • zaboca
      March 13, 2019

      Wow. Well written.

    • %
      March 13, 2019

      And a lot of young men being incarcerated!!!!

    • Peace
      March 14, 2019

      And let all readers say, “Amen”!

  23. Sandy
    March 13, 2019

    You are so right Pastor Rodney this is just crazy they can’t vote,they can,t get married at sixteen why then should they be allowed to consent to have sex.My take on that is this age of consent should be raised to eighteen years.

    • March 13, 2019

      The child may have psychological issues or emotional problem and tend to be looking for comfort in the wrong places and ways. so YES!! She do NEED counseling.
      She obviously did not realize the consequences of her actions, Normal people do not do this things knowing that they’ll be punished. :(

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