A case that was reported on in the hard copy edition of the Jamaica Observer on Sunday October 20th 2013 (not found on the online edition of the paper) authored by Tanesha Mundle who by virtue of her previous reports has an affinity to following buggery cases in the local courts has caused me some unease. Having gone through my own case in 1996 through to 1999 (all adults allegedly caught in the act when no such acts were committed) I am all too weary of the kind of crisis reporting on such matters especially when there is a minor involved. Another case comes to mind involving a teen who deceptively reported an older man that he made advances but when it came down to the evidence the truth came forth but not after devastating the accused who is displaced in some sense with family and had to resign his job for safety.
Don't get me wrong there are serious paedophile cases that require serious attention just on the face of them and of course we MUST take each case on their own merit with the oh so needed counselling and follow up interventions for those young lives interrupted especially when their sexual orientation properly determined was heterosexual, plain and simple sexual attraction to prepubescent persons is a deviant sexual disorder as outlined by the DSM, diagnostic statistical manual 5.
Local media has not done a good job over the years in reporting such cases and overall trials especially the all important follow ups to conclusion just the major highlights or sensational moments are carried it seems for the most part I guess burrowing from the tabloid papers present and defunct such as the Jamaica Star or the late XNews. Local laws prohibit overt discourse by media on cases being deliberated on in the courts but that does not stop questions being asked based on what is reported by the same press.
The story from the Observer headlined:
Youth Allegedly Kills Man Whom He Claims Buggered Him
A teenager last week faced the Corporate area Resident Magistrate Court for reportedly chopping up a man whom he claimed made sexual advances toward him and buggered him as a child. The 18 year old accused of a St Andrew address handed himself over to the police following the murder of 47 year old Vincent Brown, shop keeper of the same address.
According to a police report on September 2 the accused went to the now deceased man's home and during a dispute used a machete to chop Brown to death killing him on the spot. But the accused in his caution statement said that he acted out of self defence as he was fearful of being buggered again by the now deceased whom he said committed the act on him when he was in grade five. According to the accused on the day in question he was at Brown's home when he made sexual advances toward him and he used a piece of wood to ward off the attack.
However Brown kept coming at him so he used the machete to chop him as he did not want to be buggered by him again. He said that he was still suffering from the effects of the alleged past sexual assault.
The accused man's attorney Kerry Ann Wilson told the court that she was distressed by her client's report and that what transpired was very unfortunate as it could have happened to her brother. She asked Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey to grant her client bail. She told the magistrate that her client who recently graduated from school had never got in trouble with the law before and that he was about to start a course at HEART Trust/NTA. The magistrate who accepted the application offered the accused teen bail and instructed him to return to court on November 8.
Well seeing the current debate on juveniles psycho social interventions that are sadly lacking the judge simply allowed a teen to get bail after such trauma?
The lead in to this post set the tone of where I wanted to go, I hope but gay panic defence in this case seems a bit off, abuse is abuse indeed whether the perpetrator is same sexed but the court does not seem to have established in my mind the nature of a missing alleged paedophile owing to the fact he is dead, where is the doctor's report to prove buggery took place?
Did any of the adults in the "victim's" life know of the alleged inappropriate contact between the adult and the teen by his story and if so can they be charged for negligence in not acting in time?
Is the attorney using the typical gay panic defence to win over the judge and those in the court on the backdrop on the national pysche on male homosexuality?
Will CISOCA, Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse ... intervene although the accused has gone passed the age of consent and is under law an adult now?
Does anyone at JFLAG recommenced following such cases in court?
Will there ever be non judgemental counsellors to intervene in such matters who are not skewed to a religious formulae of counselling emphasising reparative therapy?
Other reading the report on the face of it may have asked why was this young man returning to the man's house/shop repeatedly even after the alleged acts took place? well the answer in fairness is psychological control of another human being is real and can cause a dependency relationship to occur until the abused decides to end the harm following some enlightenment but such cases are rear and the twist in this report is the caution statement that reads like a typical gay panic defence that I have seen over time to almost justify the act of murder of the accused.
The accused is no longer around to defend himself too which calls into question the one sided nature of this and previously similar matters where the word of the remaining "victim" goes barring any physiological evidence (doctor's report) claiming spermatozoa cells present, sphincter muscle of the victim being loose by penetration or any other such DNA typed material. Problem also is at the RM level of our justice system which is already slow and archaic there is not a tradition of transcripts preparation just the reliance of the prosecutorial arm doing a summary or the media sending reporters to sit in sessions but as this report has shown we are left with more questions than answers. Will we ever get the truth in this matter?
Will Judge Pusey just let this one go without the right closure? in my eyes prolonged follow up therapy into adult life, what if he is lying and was consensual at some point but things got out of hand on the accused side?
How will the proof of the early years of abuse be unearthed as some persons are good at masking.
Let us hope for the good in the end of this but court reporters need to understand their role and that to leave readers in mid air with all kinds of questions does not auger well for justice.
also see: Observer: Man before court for killing alleged homo .... gay panic defense again .... from 2011
Peace and tolerance