Raped, rav­aged and roughed up by the jus­tice sys­tem

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Tamara Bai­ley Sun­day Gleaner Writer

MON­ICA ARTHERINA* had just grad­u­ated from uni­ver­sity in 2013 and was fine-tun­ing ar­range­ments to take up a few job of­fers over­seas when her life started tak­ing a turn for the worse.

She not only failed to se­cure the over­seas job, but in the process of seek­ing spir­i­tual help to get an­swers for why ev­ery­thing in her life was turn­ing up­side down, she was raped by a stranger she thought was a Chris­tian, and then roughed up mer­ci­lessly by the jus­tice sys­tem.

MON­ICA ARTHERINA* had just grad­u­ated from uni­ver­sity in 2013 and was fine-tun­ing ar­range­ments to take up a few job of­fers over­seas when her life started tak­ing a turn for the worse.

She not only failed to se­cure the over­seas job, but in the process of seek­ing spir­i­tual help to get an­swers for why ev­ery­thing in her life was turn­ing up­side down, she was raped by a stranger she thought was a Chris­tian, and then roughed up mer­ci­lessly by the jus­tice sys­tem.

“I was in a se­ri­ous state of de­pres­sion, my bills were pil­ing up and I had my son to take care of, and I could not see a way out. I was watch­ing the TV one night when I saw a bishop on it, and from what he was say­ing I thought I re­ally needed de­liv­er­ance.

“I woke up the fol­low­ing morn­ing and de­cided I would go to Kingston to find this man so he could pray for me,” said the Manch­ester res­i­dent.

Mon­ica, who had no money at the time, called her mother, who was in May Pen, Claren­don, to lend a help­ing hand and took the first taxi she could find to head to her mother.

“When I came out of the taxi from Man­dev­ille in May Pen, I heard some­body call­ing out to me but I kept walk­ing, I wasn't pay­ing any­body any mind. The per­son con­tin­ued, try­ing to get my at­ten­tion, but I kept walk­ing.

“What caught me was when he said, ‘You nah pay me nuh mind but God send me to de­liver the word to you and if you go in one more ve­hi­cle you a go crash and dead be­cause duppy a fol­low you’,” re­counted Mon­ica.

She said con­tin­ued to walk, de­ter­mined to get to her mother but stopped when the stranger said, “You sup­pose to go for­eign and you never go. You never won­der why things nah hap­pen fi you? You leave school and noth­ing nah hap­pen fi you.”

FALSE PROPHET

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­ica, the man iden­ti­fied him­self as “Pas­tor David some­thing” and claimed he was from a Pen­te­costal church in St Mary.

At that point, she ques­tioned if this chance meet­ing was God’s work and al­lowed the man to talk to her.

She told him she needed to get back to Man­dev­ille to pick up her son, and he told her there was a lady in Man­dev­ille who could pray with them.

Upon reach­ing Man­dev­ille, Mon­ica said the man took her to Villa Road where he said the lady was at a church wait­ing.

But as they walked he pressed a metal ob­ject to her side and led in her into bushes where used con­doms and wrap­pers lit­tered the ground.

“When I saw this I thought this is where I would be killed. He told me to bend over ... ,” said Mon­ica as she re­counted de­tails of her rape.

“When he was done, he poured a liq­uid in the used con­dom and he had sev­eral small bot­tles of oil, he put it in a box and threw away the box. He said if I told any­body any­thing he would know and he would kill me be­cause he was not a Chris­tian but an obeah man,” Mon­ica told The Sun­day Gleaner.

She said the fol­low­ing day she put all the pills she had in her house to­gether and was plan­ning on end­ing her life when she re­ceived a call from a friend who is a cop.

He re­alised some­thing was wrong, and af­ter she re­counted her or­deal he put his col­leagues on her case.

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­ica, her re­port to the po­lice was first met with much cyn­i­cism and she felt more like a per­pe­tra­tor than a vic­tim.

“It was af­ter do­ing a rape kit that the po­lice be­gan to be­lieve what I had told them be­cause the doc­tor said she had seen sim­i­lar cases present at the hos­pi­tal. The rapist was al­legedly caught in the act in an­other parish when he was ar­rested and taken into lock-up.”

COURT AP­PEAR­ANCES

Mon­ica said it was dur­ing her court ap­pear­ances that she faced even more ag­gres­sion and cyn­i­cism.

“I was asked to tell the court what the man had on the day in ques­tion. I could not re­mem­ber and every­body was on me and I broke down. I re­mem­ber the judge say­ing, ‘I don't know where you work miss com­mu­ni­ca­tor, but it seems like you are the boss there but I am the boss here’.

“I felt like I was the per­pe­tra­tor in­stead of the per­son who was raped. I can­not for­get the man’s lawyer, who was preg­nant at the time. She stood up and she said, “Your Hon­our, I put it to you that this lady is ly­ing. She is a teacher and uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate. Are you telling me that this lady could be so gullible?’ Those were her ex­act words that keep ring­ing in my head even now.

She said her life has not been the same since the 2013 in­ci­dent.

“The fact that I am cry­ing so much in this in­ter­view means I have not yet healed, and while peo­ple will con­tinue to ques­tion how a uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate could be so fool­ish, I will say to them, un­less you are in the po­si­tion, you will never un­der­stand.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­ica, it wasn't un­til af­ter her at­tacker was found guilty and sen­tenced ear­lier this year that the sys­tem started treat­ing her like a vic­tim.

Her at­tacker, Bald­win Hy­man, was found guilty and sen­tenced to 15 years in prison when the case was com­pleted in Manch­ester Parish Court re­cently.

He was also sen­tenced to 15 years for a sim­i­lar of­fence in Claren­don. The sen­tences will run con­cur­rently.

*Name changed on re­quest.

When he was done, he poured a liq­uid in the used con­dom and he had sev­eral small bot­tles of oil, he put it in a box and threw away the box. He said if I told any­body any­thing he would know and he would kill m e be­cause he was not a Chris­tian but an obeah man.

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