It is stories like this that makes the struggle for law reform with regards to the buggery law (repeal or decriminalization) and discrimination for LGBTQians difficult. The wall of opposition has usually included as its cement that changing or repealing said laws will cause more paedophiles to be on the loose or have access to young victims when we know that that is not true but sadly it is what it is at this time. As more of our children fall prey to some weird occurrences especially in recent times including the highest recorded numbers of murders in a long time concerns have been raised by many and almost late in the day some churches as more of their own including pastors are accused of inappropriate sexual contact with prepubescent or young ones whilst being far more loud against consenting adults freedom to love, marry and personhood.
Discord is said to be high as several members have since resigned from the Riverton Meadows SDA church board sparked by the arrest and charge of one of their own police Sergeant Dalton Leslie who is accused of assaulting a 15 year old boy. Sources told Nationwide News that members of the board and church body were not pleased with how this matter has been handled and the troubling developments since. Despite facing a criminal charge the accused cop has been allegedly allowed to supervise a youth group and repeated unsupervised outings which raised concerns about access and the matter not being cleared in courts to clear the air.
Calls to the Sergeant’s phone by nationwide radio proved futile as they go to voicemail. In court last Tuesday April 28, 2015 the cop who is associated with the Hunts Bay police precinct was granted bail and is to return to court July 2. The judge had also warned him as mentioned in the previous post to stay away from witnesses.
The conflation of paedophilia with same gender sex is of concern as reactions on social media and radio shows with regards to this specific case show same suggesting the decriminalization of buggery will open the gates for all other kinds of none related offences in as far as consent is concerned.
The Reverend Dr Paul Lewis matter some time ago was one such case where although what appeared to be strong evidence he got away scotch free with very little outcry from child rights activists some of whom are also anti gay voices as well which raises the cherry picking or selectivity criticisms. More egregious matters get ignored or the concerns are not as vibrant or strident as those regarding anything remotely close to homosexuality, consent and person-hood. In just under a year I have posted at least five cases on this blog and other platforms and not a peep when I last checked the anti gay voices elsewhere to show equal or even greater concerns for the abuse of children.
Instead we get strong opposition in the name of righteousness misplaced towards innate homosexuals which is worlds apart from paedophiles as the latter are attracted to children and most gay/bisexual men I am aware of have no sexual interest in children, in fact many want to raise their own and some who have found themselves in marriages or heterosexual relationships of convenience have children as outcomes when really their comfort is that of being with a man.
Speaking with IRIE FM News on the issue Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison stated that she was made aware of the allegations only last Saturday following which a probe was launched, she also said though the cop is not convicted her office is concerned about the allegations
“Late Saturday evening a particular situation was brought to my attention .... of course I cannot speak to the specifics of what was reported but suffice it to say that we have concerns because we understand that a particular individual was in fact arrested and we are of the view that whenever there is a vulnerable set of circumstances surrounding a particular child we prefer to err on the side of caution and to ensure that every precaution is extended to them; but it is something we have been made aware of and we are making our specific checks.” She also highlighted that more information is to come forth from the person who filed the report originally.
Meanwhile Communications Director of the Seventh Day Adventist Church nationally Nigel Coke says he is aware of the concerns with the accused interaction with minors and that he had been ordered to desist, “I understand that there are might be a situation, I can say he is not in any leadership position in the church; the group I understand that he operated was a singing group; I understand he was spoken to before and that he had stopped going out with the group. I know up front that the church condemns such behaviour if it is actually so; and um the matter is now in court.”
Mr Coke also said the board of the church held a meeting to discuss the matter, “The board will meet as a group,; and that is the local church board, and would act basically to any form of information that might have had or new information that has emerged; so I am sure they will meet as it relates to a decision in light of what has happened.”
The Director of the church’s children’s ministry Claudette Genius says she is aware of the discontent among members.
“Yes I have heard from the church and Pastor Nathan was dealing with it which means removal should or would have taken place.”
So it seems the board and pastoral leadership were slow to act in this regard in as far as isolation of the accused in as far as contact and access to children in the church but also keeping this one internally that it had to get out there with discord as the springboard. Yet I have hardly seen the religious voices who are also involved in anti gay advocacy saying a word when one of their own is identified or alleged as a paedophile but consenting adults get fire.
Let us see where this one ends, I hope it does not fizzle away as the accused Permanent Secretary one did or the aforementioned Rev Dr Paul Lewis matter went despite what appeared to be strong biological evidence, with the draft DNA bill on the parliamentary table (outside of a joint select committee) and the length of time such intimate samples may be kept, the ease at which a buggery charge can land on an accused despite no acts were committed, the constitutional conundrum looming with regards to trespass of the citizens’ privacy and consent by the intended or accused subject to resist such samples being taken I wait to see how this will play into our creaking legal and court systems.
Peace and tolerance
Labourer suffer near two years in prison on false accusation of buggery - DNA shows boy was molested by a family member (Jamaica Observer)