By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PARENTS of Stephen Dillet Primary School students are fearful after a young girl was assaulted near the school on Monday afternoon.
The attack on the 12-year-old girl on Darling Street shortly after 3pm Monday came after an eight-year-old girl was assaulted off Bailou Hill Road last month.
One parent told The Tribune he moved blocks from the school just several weeks ago so his seven-year-old daughter could walk home without his help. Now his plans are changing, he said.
“My little girl hasn’t been three weeks at this school yet,” said the man, identified as Chisolm.
“I had to take time off from work to pick up my little girl. I live right there. I moved her from Sandilands Primary School this way because I say it’s going to be close to home and she can just walk home while I’m at work, but I can’t do that no more. Now I have to change that routine, take my time off from 3pm just to pick my little girl so that’s inconveniencing me.”
Mr Chisolm said he will not send his daughter to the shop anymore or ask her to throw out garbage. “With my job, I’m not supposed to he here at this time,” he said. “I was as supposed to be off at 5pm. But hearing about the incident and that it happened right here and you can see that where my little girl has to walk is where it took place so I cannot let her walk home. I have to take that two hour loss to come pick up my little girl.”
Mr Chisolm said authorities must quickly prevent confusion from settling among the public when incidents like this happen, noting a picture that had circulated on Facebook of the alleged perpetrator was later confirmed by police to be false. Yesterday police released sketches of the man believed to be involved in the two attacks.
“The first information which was laid out was the wrong information because from yesterday there was a young man’s face put out, claiming he was the person who did it and to me I was already out for that same face because this was something unheard of,” Mr Chisolm said.
“This isn’t something you want people being confused about. My little girl is seven, the girl it happened to was 12 so I would say they are about the same. I know the type of mentality my little girl has at this time so I know what that little girl is going through. If the government could do something about this it should because when you come down here you see murderers with ankle bracelets on and I don’t see the sense in that. The ankle bracelet is supposed to be for these same rapists so when you see them you could have eyes on them so they can’t go close to schools.”
Mr Chisolm isn’t the only one adjusting his routine. Several parents and guardians are doing the same. One woman, identified as Tameka, said she usually picks up her own children from school but now she’ll have pick up her niece and nephew too so they don’t walk home alone.
A woman who declined to be identified said she knows a parent of the girl who was assaulted.
“I was devastated when I heard what happened,” she said. “Yesterday when I heard the news all of this side of my face felt tension because I have a son that is seven and a daughter that is 11. And I know the child (who was assaulted) because the child lives on Market Street. I know the parent and the parent drops her child to school. I don’t know what the case might be, if she got a job or had something to do but I usually see her drop her child and pick her up.”
Yesterday, St Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright said the girl and her family are “coping with what happened” and have “requested privacy”.
“Any sort of sexual assault on anybody is awful and criminal,” he said.
“There’s no doubt when talking about these acts perpetrated on young people is reprehensible, it’s detestable and hopefully the alleged assailants will be caught and the full brunt of the law will be brought to bear in bringing them to justice. Communities are being impacted everyday by a number of issues but this really hits at the core of the innocence that’s really left in our communities and in our country when you’re talking about the young darlings of the nation.”
Police had no update into the assault investigations yesterday.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean emphasised police don’t know who the perpetrator is, and also pushed back against a rumour the attacker was recently released from prison.
Though that narrative is false, several parents said a functional Sexual Offenders Registry is long overdue in the country, with some expressing shock that one isn’t already in force.