IRWIN, St James — An eight-year-old was among five females who were attacked and viciously raped by two gunmen in the community of Irwin on Monday night.
The young girl, according to a source, had to undergo emergency surgery yesterday as a result of the ordeal.
The ages of the other victims, the Jamaica Observer has learnt, are 14, 16, 23, and 28.
According to the police, the incident happened at approximately 10:00 pm when two men — one of whom was armed with a firearm — went to the house where the girl was with the four other females.
The heartless thugs gained access into the house after they held onto one of the occupants, through a window, and demanded that the door be opened.
All five were held at gunpoint, tied up and raped.
Police said the men also robbed the occupants of an undetermined sum of cash and other valuables before escaping.
The police have since launched an investigation into the horrific incident.
Last night, Superintendent Gladys Brown, who heads the Kingston and St Andrew branch of the Centre for the Investigation Of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), said she was shocked by the incident.
Although admitting that she had little information on the incident, she said it appeared a "deliberate act of violence to show power".
"I am really wondering what is happening, I have never seen anything like this," she told the Observer.
"It sounds like someone is flexing their muscles, so to speak, because that's the most I can say as to what could have caused persons to brutalise women and children like that," Brown added.
Opposition spokesperson on youth, sports, gender affairs, entertainment and culture, Olivia "Babsy' Grange, described the incident "as one of the most shocking, horrific and despicable crimes committed against Jamaican women".
According to Grange, "the crime is yet another example of the diminishing respect and love for women in the society, especially girls, when an eight-year-old can be so brutally abused and pregnant women are being killed by both criminals and those whom they expect to protect them.
"This latest act is also a glaring example of the breakdown of law and order in the country; and unless something is done, and done quickly, we will be facing another year of record murders and sexual crimes against women and children in the society," she added.
Meanwhile, efforts by the Observer to contact Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna for comment were unsuccessful last night.