Rape Charges Dropped
By Candia Dames
Attorney General Alfred Sears announced last night that the woman who claimed Minister Bradley Roberts raped her dropped the charge against him bringing an end to the matter that has generated much public concern over the last two weeks.
A statement from the AG said that the woman showed up at the Office of the Attorney General accompanied by her lawyer, Anthony McKinney.
“Mr. McKinney indicated that he had recently been retained by the virtual complainant in respect of this matter,” the statement said. “The virtual complainant presented the officials in the Office of the Attorney General with a letter withdrawing her complaint in clear and unequivocal terms.”
According to the AG, her letter said, “My decision to withdraw my allegation is not based or due to any payment made to me or any offer to pay me in the future. My decision is made of my own free will without any pressure, duress or undue influence.”
The statement said that the woman was interviewed by the director, and the deputy director of public prosecutions - who were both, satisfied that she was making a voluntary withdrawal of the allegation of rape against Minister Roberts.
“I have considered the file, the recommendation of the Commissioner of Police, the advice of my senior officials and the letter of withdrawal from the virtual complainant and I have decided, in the total circumstances, not to institute criminal proceedings against Mr. Roberts in respect of this matter.”
The surprise announcement came amid a growing call for the minister’s resignation and mounting criticisms against the police and the prime minister for the handling of the matter.
Earlier yesterday, the Free National Movement released a statement claiming that justice was “under assault by a rash, unfair PLP”. It’s a claim that PLP and government officials have vehemently denied, dismissing the FNM’s comments on the matter as an attempt to gain political mileage from the situation.
Minister Roberts, who had maintained his innocence all along, was not available for comment on the revelation last night.
Only days ago, the woman’s initial attorney, Wallace Rolle, indicated that she was looking forward to her day in court.
Last night, he said he was “shocked” when he listened to the news.
“I spoke with my client very early this morning,” Mr. Rolle said. “I hadn’t spoken to her since then. I believe that the pressure that had been put on her caused her to succumb. This is a sad day for me, not the fact that she had gotten another attorney, but it is sad for justice.
She got something like 100 calls a day from different people in the community asking her to withdraw the complaint. I am surprised by the level we have sunk in society.”