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McKenzie condemns incident of rape, suspected cover-up at St Mary Infirmary

Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 2:36 PM    

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ST MARY, Jamaica -- Opposition spokesman on Local Government Desmond McKenzie on Thursday condemned an alleged incident of rape, which reportedly took place at the St Mary Infirmary, where a woman in the institution’s care was assaulted.

McKenzie said that the incident took place on the February 9, but following what is suspected to have been a case of cover-up on the part of administrators at the Infirmary, was only officially brought to the attention of the St Mary Parish Council Wednesday at a meeting of its Poor Relief Committee, a release from the Jamaica Labour Party said Thursday.

The Parish Council oversees operations of the Infirmary.

“It is bad enough that criminal elements could have acted with the kind of impunity and savagery in assaulting the defenceless victim in the manner they did," McKenzie charged.

"It is even more disturbing however, based on information I have received, that there were attempts on the part of administrators at the Infirmary to cover-up the incident.

"The fact that persons in authority at the Infirmary failed to respond to the incident in a strident and assertive way by immediately bringing the matter to the attention of all the critical response agencies, including the police and the parish council, is great cause for concern,” McKenzie said.

He indicated that, had the matter been brought to the attention of the St Mary Parish Council in a timely manner, there would have been an increased likelihood of swift response action and the implementation of measures aimed at enhancing the safety and security of the people in the Infirmary’s care.

“I am calling on the minister of Local Government & Community Development, Noel Arscott, to probe this incident by immediately commissioning an investigation into this most disturbing incident. It is imperative that any act of maladministration is unveiled and discovery made regarding the extent to which persons who should have acted with greater levels of propriety and professional care may have been complicit in the suspected cover-up,” said the former Kingston mayor.

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