Charges to go around ...if the allegations, admissions are trueTuesday, June 08, 2021
Linton P Gordon
The allegations against Dr Dayton Campbell that are now being discussed widely in the media are quite serious and should be treated as such. Not only are the allegations serious and require attention, but there are certain aspects of these allegation that raise other matters that should be addressed.
The first matter that I believe should be addressed is the roll of the justice of the peace to whose attention the allegations were brought. A justice of the peace whose, responsibilities are governed by the Justice of the Peace Jurisdiction Act, has a certain responsibility imposed on him/her by Section 40 of the said Act, where it is brought to his attention that a crime has been committed. If the matter brought to his attention is an allegation of a crime committed in a parish other than the parish in which he has jurisdiction then he has a duty to issue a warrant for the suspect to be brought before a justice of the peace in the parish in which the offence had been committed.
It is noted that the information shared so far by Karen Cross is that the justice of the peace, who witnessed the signature of the complainant is a justice of the peace for the parish of St Andrew. That justice of the peace should have, if the allegation of a criminal act occurred in St Ann, brought it to the attention of the police and the authorities there.
The Child Care and Protection Act also imposes a duty on the justice of the peace to report the allegations of sexual intercourse with a child under 16 to the Children Registry, which is established under the Child Care and Protection Act. Section 6 (2) of this Act provides that any person who has information which causes that person to suspect that a child has been, is being, or is likely to be abandoned, neglected, or physically or sexually ill-treated, or is otherwise in need of care and protection, shall make a report to the registry. The matter being brought to the attention of the justice of the peace, it became his duty to report the matter to the registry.
Cross, similarly, has a duty to report the allegations of sex with a child under 16 to the registry. In her case, her conduct appears to be one of suppressing criminal act by not cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the police. Cross is reported in The Sunday Gleaner of May 30, 2021 as stating in an interview that the girls had told her that they do not want to go to the police, and that she figured that she had to do it her way. If this is indeed a true report on her role in the matter she should be arrested and charged for obstructing the investigation. She, too, should be charged under Section 6(2) of the Child Care and Protection Act.
But it is further reported that Cross is maintaining that she is involved in “helping the alleged victims” by not providing any evidence to the police. She is said to have also admitted that three statements she has collected from the victims have not been provided to the police. This is clear evidence of Cross acting like an investigator and a protector of the victims, a roll that should be left for the police.
Cross has not disclosed what security mechanism she has or in what way she has provided protection and security for the victims. The police should visit Cross and get from her conformation, or denial, for that matter regarding these allegations.
With regards to Campbell, the police should collect their own statements from the three victims and once they have credible statements and not statements unilaterally redacted, Dr Campbell should be charged and placed before the court to answer these charges.
The police ought not to allow Cross to have unilateral conduct of this matter. It is unfair to the victims and makes a mockery of the commitment the police have given to us to be fair and impartial in their investigation of all allegations.
The police need to act now in this matter and let us have the truth of what is now being widely discussed in the media, with denials and allegations, surrounding a matter that should be treated as most urgent.w
Linton P Gordon is an attorney-at-law. Send comments to the Observer or to email@example.com.
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