There are no words capable of conveying how repugnant the indecent assault of a child is to the New Democratic Party. We are seriously concerned by a number of aspects of the case of the violation of that 4 year old Vincentian girl.
Clearly, under the laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines there is no available sentence capable of proportionality with the gravity of this criminal offense itself. While the NDP is disappointed that the offender was not given the maximum available sentence of 5 years, we find the current maximum to be grossly inadequate.
After all, in 4 prison years (really 3 calendar years), when this offender is released from prison, the deep psychological wounds inflicted on this child will not have healed. If sex offenders, particularly those who prey upon children, do not face harsher penalties, there is little deterrence.
While we note that the prosecution of this this offense was quick, we ask whether in the course of so quick an investigation:
– the child was medically examined to determine if other sexual offences were perpetrated against her
– the role of other adults and/or parents in her life has been examined with a view to further prosecution
– other charges will be preferred against the convicted offender related to his publication of a sex act with a child.
We are appalled by the dissemination of the video of the indecent assault of this 4 year old child. The NDP maintains that every sharing and/or viewing of this child’s violation begets another violation. We remind everyone that this little girl and every other child is entitled to protection by the State and by every Vincentian.
While the sharers of the video should face no less sanction than the perpetrator of the sex act upon the child, we believe that the uneven sanctions may be remedied by the introduction of harsher, harsher penalties for the sex act. It is time that sexual offences are given greater urgency, and measures put in place to protect our children.