0

UPDATED: Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe releases statement

National Security Minister Wayne Munroe yesterday. 
Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

National Security Minister Wayne Munroe yesterday. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

UPDATE: Minister of National Security Wayne Monroe issued the following statement on Friday afternoon:

“I have spoken several times on the matter of a plea agreement and I deeply regret that my answers have caused concern. I gave several interviews and I hope that pulling the salient points together in one place can be helpful to understanding my position:

1 Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child under 16 is disordered.

2 Anyone who does so will go to prison. The only question is the length of their sentence.

3 Sentence lengths for the offence in question are established by the Bahamas Court of Appeal. For a first-time offender, the sentence is 7 years if the young woman does not consent, and 4 years if the young woman does consent. The word “consent” is in the text of the relevant statute – “with or without consent”.

4 Plea agreements avoid court cases and thus help clear the backlog of cases in our justice system. Additionally, plea bargaining spares the victim from having to give evidence thereby being forced to relive the trauma of the crime.

Our government is unified in wanting to send the clearest possible message to adults who would have sexual relationships with children under 16: your behavior will land you in jail, no matter the child’s behavior.

When I provide my analysis of a legal matter, as I have done in recent interviews, I do draw upon my decades of experience practicing law. But I want Bahamians to be clear, it is this experience that allows me a clear view of the path to successful law enforcement and prosecution. The goal in cases like these is to punish predatory behavior and to deter others from engaging in such behavior.”

EARLIER STORY:

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe suggested yesterday that a 40-year-old man convicted of having unlawful sex with a 14-year-old girl received a sentence that was too severe, saying had he defended the case he would have argued it was not rape and that the girl consented.

His remarks prompted swift backlash from Free National Movement Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright and others. Some activists have called on him to be fired.

Mr Munroe said he did not have all facts of the case, but told reporters he did not understand the controversy surrounding the sentence and anger about subsequent comments made by a prosecutor about the case.

“If I was advising the accused and somebody gets seven years for raping somebody I wouldn’t have been advising my client to agree to four years for unlawful intercourse because I would say that if we go to court you would say to the judge ‘he didn’t rape her - she consented’. The fact is in law her consent is neither here nor there. If I was the defence counsel I wouldn’t have accepted a plea deal with that high a level of penalty and we would have gone to court,” he told reporters.

Earlier in the interview, Mr Munroe said sentencing guidelines for rape differ depending whether the victim is a “virgin” or a “prostitute”.

“If you were to rape a virgin, if you raped a prostitute, both are rape, you’re likely to be awarded a higher sentence for raping a nun than raping a prostitute,” the former defence attorney said. “That’s just what the case law says because you consider the impact of the offence and considering the impact of the offence you consider victim impact. So that’s a part of sentencing.”

His comments came when he was asked by reporters about Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Franklyn Williams’ statements about a plea deal the convict received, which resulted in him getting four years in prison and three years’ probation upon release.

 When contacted about the case, Mr Williams told a reporter on Wednesday: “We have a generation of highly sexualised young people, whether through media or association, and who because of parental inattention, lack of parental oversight and in some cases, tacit encouragement and acquiescence, engage in risky behaviours. The facts of this case dictated the course taken.”

 He later said he was not victim blaming, however.

 Mr Munroe said he was trying to understand “controversy” about the case.

 When told the offence was unlawful sexual intercourse, he said: “Which means that it’s not rape. Which means you are punished because as a big man you shouldn’t be having sex with anybody under 16. If the person under 16, if you force them, they would still charge you with sex with somebody under 16 but the sentencing court would say that you forced this person, they didn’t initiate it, so you will get a higher sentence than somebody who initiates it with you. The general sentence for rape where the person isn’t consenting is seven years.”

 Some observers accused Mr Williams of “victim blaming” and called for his resignation.

 Asked to respond, Mr Munroe disagreed with that interpretation, saying “How is that victim blaming?”

 He also said: “Yes she can give consent. You can consent from seven years old. It’s just that law says if you are under 16, if you read the offence having sexual intercourse with somebody under 16 with or without their consent which tells you that the person can consent. Just that in law, we say it doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t matter having sex with (a) 16-year-old whether she consents or she doesn’t consent that being the case since that offence has those two possibilities, the victim consent or the victim doesn’t consent. Who would believe that the sentence should be the same whether the victim consents it should be same when the victim doesn’t consent. One would hope that you would get a higher sentence when the victim doesn’t consent.”

 According to published reports about the case, the girl and the man met on Facebook and met up to have sex multiple time over the course of several months. Police found the girl at the man’s home after an anonymous tip in early 2020 and met her putting on her school uniform. The child was examined at the hospital and where it was discovered she was pregnant.

 In a statement issued yesterday, the FNM’s deputy leader said Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis needs to rein Mr Munroe in.

“I join with all right-thinking Bahamians in condemning the utterances of Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe with regard to how the law should be interpreted with regard to adults who prey on underage girls,” Mr Cartwright said.

 “His opinions on consent are repugnant and have no place in a civilised country. What the minister should be doing as a lawmaker is advocating for stronger laws to protect children, and a no tolerance approach as the minister of national security, as opposed to alerting child predators as to how they can beat the system.

 “If he cannot advocate on behalf of protecting children and law-abiding citizens, then he should reconsider his current career choice.”

Comments

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

LAW DOES NOT HAVE EMOTIONS!! And Wayne Munroe and his deputy prosecutor is getting beaten up on.

1

Craig 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Munroe's reasoning makes no sense, despite his wordsmiting and sophistry. What is the purpose of the age of consent otherwise?

2

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

More than just one purpose and among them s to not have babies having babies. To ensure that those who engage in sex are prepared mentally and financially for parenthood. Also to avoid grown men or (women) from invading the homes of minors and creating havoc on n a family. Once a person reaches the age of consent and chooses to have sec, then they are fully responsible for all their actions and any consequences from it.

2

tell_it_like_it_is 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Repost: One thing Wayne Munroe did, is expose how many pedophiles we have living in this little Bahamas (some possibly commenting online). The persons who getting upset about raising the age, probably out there molesting someone's child as we speak. SMH. This country is truly sickening and sad indeed!

1

DonAnthony 2 months, 4 weeks ago

What a jackass, the sentence was not too harsh it was far too lenient, should have been 10 years. Clearly Munroe is unfit for office and should resign.

1

zemilou 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Is this truly one of our nation's leaders saying this? Since when is it acceptable to defend -- especially publicly -- sex between and adult and a minor?

According to Section 11 under the heading "Indictable Sexual Offences" of The Bahamas's Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act, 1991:

  1. (1) Any person who — (a) has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above fourteen years of age and under sixteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse; or (b) attempts to have unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above fourteen years of age and under sixteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he attempted to have unlawful sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

My understanding of this: In The Bahamas statutory rape law is broken when an adult (18+ years of age) has sexual intercourse with any person older than 14 and younger than 16 with or without consent.

1

zemilou 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I'd be remiss if I didn't include this from the above Act:

  1. (1) Any person who — (a) has unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under fourteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse; or (b) attempts to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under fourteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life.
1

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Because they are attempting to explain the naked and undressed facts of the law to people who are full of emotions and have caught feelings on the matter. Yes, it is grossly disgusting to think of a 40 year old man having sex and establishing a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl but only the laws on the books can apply. Does it mean now that the laws have to be changed or upgraded? And any parent ( fathers at least) finding that a ‘big rusty man’ was sexually involved with his 14 year old daughter, would become blood thirsty. Wayne Munroe was try to explain the difference between forced rape and consensual rape and also the diff between an underage person who was already sexually active and one who was a virgin being the victim. These all have bearing on the penalty given for rape. And if the sentence for forced rape is seven years and the convict in this instance was given four years prison time, plus two years probation then that is within the sentenc norms. What the public is probably crying out for is the overall increase in the penalties for rape. And this must be measured under two parameters as opposed to modern day Bahamas, where the act now seems so perverted and has enraged many. Firstly under slavery, it was a common practice for slave owners or members to f his family to deflower young, virgin slaves, and many below the age of consent. Back then, this behavior was justified on several fronts: Firstly that the slave master owned the slave girl and had all rights and full access to her. Secondly it was considered an economic activity. The quicker a slave can become active and start to breed, the greater the financial gain for the owner. After all he had to feed and clothe her.

1

themessenger 2 months, 4 weeks ago

@john, man you really need to get over your slave and all women must submit mentality, your use of that strange term "consensual rape", whatever the hell that is, pretty much sums up your submit, man is the master mentality! And, by the way, although slavery was abolished 189 years ago the practice of mature Bahamian males deflowering young and underaged virgins continues unabated as evidenced from the case above.

2

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The post is in three parts because the Tribune has word limits. Maybe you need to read the entire text so as not to take it out of context. And y’all always saying Blacks need to get over slavery but have Jews gotten over the Holocaust? And what about the Indians? Orr!. And yes, there is a problem with older men preying on young girls in n this country. No doubt and if you read the last part of the post bid does reference it. In some parts of the country there was also a big problem with incest. Brother and sister and first cousins and fathers and daughters. Some even wanting to marry. And it was overlooked for decades because it was claimed that the pool from which they choose a lifelong partner was so limited. So they kept it all in the family.

0

bahamianson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Agreed, the slave card and race card are always pulled up.

0

zemilou 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Regarding " Does it mean now that the laws have to be changed or upgraded?" Did you read what the existing law says?

0

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

According to Wayne Munroe the going penalty for rape is 7 years and the maximum is ten. Unlawful sexual intercourse is distinguished from rape and is considered a lesser crime. People are still confusing it with statutory rape, which, apparently has been removed from the books. So Wayne Munroe’s contention is four years prison plus two years probation is rather harsh penalty for statutory rape after the accused has entered a plea agreement and in light that a person is getting seven years for rape even after having a full trial.

0

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Then after the slave trade there was barely little for a person to do after reaching child bearing age except get married and start a family. Most family islands did not have high schools and even for economic reasons, parents would give consent for their daughters to get married at The age of 14-15-16 years old. And it was acceptable and considered ‘normal’. BUT TODAY! A fourteen year old is still considered a child by any stretch of the imagination. She is not considered physically or mentally mature enough to be engaging in sex and it is flesh crawling disgusting to be having sex with someone THREE TIMES her age. There is college and university and careers and career building and requirements for flexibility and mobility that will be severely hampered by an absent father child clinging to her skirt. Her whole life is ahead of her and she destroyed it not just by having sex but by becoming impregnated by an older dude. So it’s time to fix the law. Society frowns on this type of sexual activity and these types of relationships. Lock up the perpetrators and throw away the keys even. Will that be a deterrent or will there be more single parents with fathers behind bars

0

M0J0 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Listen folks need to take emotions out of it, everyone making noise but the parent, take this note, the child was not rapped but simply having sex under the legal age, in the case its obvious that she did not say she was raped not were any charges brought forth on rape.

0

Twocent 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Unless we impose the strictness of the law concerning such cases we will perpetuate the destruction of our young women’s futures. By such an example any adult male should be made aware that it will be his life and liberty which he risks, and risks completely. And unless we take measures to adequately educate our people of the consequences of sexually driven behaviors which impact the lives of others we shall overburden our already overburdened society with deeper social issues. The child concerned in this case was far too immature to fully comprehend the ramifications of her choices, therefore, due to her ignorance and immaturity, she WAS RAPED by an adult. An example should be made of the 40 yr old! Not excuses. By his comments Wayne Monroe has clearly shown he has no interest in protecting the young and vulnerable in our society from predatory adults and that he himself is too immature or ignorant to fully comprehend the deeper issue for the betterment of our society.

0

bahamianson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Ok, hold on for a sec, what if the 14 year old manipulated the 40 year old , despite the age difference. Wr are assuming the 14 yr old is ignorant. Now, don't get me wrong, It is wrong what happened, but , what if the 14 yr old went out seeking a sugar daddy intentionally ?

0

thephoenix562 2 months, 4 weeks ago

“Yes she can give consent. You can consent from seven years old"

What the hell. This from a government minister? Where is the PM ?.Why is this man still representing the Government ?

1

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Obviously the minister was referring to the age of accountability. When a child comes to know right from wrong. But obviously laws ar needed to protect children and the vulnerable. Some who cannot comprehend the full consequences of their actions.

0

M0J0 2 months, 4 weeks ago

there are 2 to blame, the young lady did not give it away once, it was multiple times and went to the gentleman's house without being forced. Yes he is older and should have control and not partake but she is just as wrong as he is.

0

tribanon 2 months, 4 weeks ago

You certainly have no understanding of why we, in common with most civilized societies around the world, have enacted laws to protect vulnerable minors.

1

tribanon 2 months, 4 weeks ago

EVERY CABINET MEMBER WHO DOES NOT PUBLICLY CRY OUT FOR MUNROE TO BE IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED BY DAVIS FROM CABINET MUST BE DEEMED TO SHARE MUNROE'S ABHORRENT BELIEF THAT A SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL HAS THE MENTAL CAPACITY AND MATURITY TO CONSENT TO BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED/RAPED.

MUNROE HAS CONFESSED TO THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT HE IS INDEED A PROFOUNDLY DISGUSTING, LOATHESOME, AND REPUGNANT CHOWDERHEAD WHO IS COMPLETELY UNWORTHY OF SERVING THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE IN ANY CAPACITY WHATSOEVER.

DAVIS, COOPER, WILCHCOMBE, MITCHELL, PINDER AND EACH OF THE OTHER CABINET MEMBERS CANNOT POSSIBLY JUSTIFY IN ANY WAY MUNROE CONTINUING TO REMAIN AMONG THEM WITHOUT BEING DEEMED TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF HIS MOST DISGRACEFUL AND ABHORRENT VIEWS.

WE, THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE, ANXIOUSLY AWAIT THE PUBLIC OUTCRY WARRANTED FROM EACH AND EVERY CABINET MEMBER AND FOR MUNROE'S IMMEDIATE REMOVAL BY DAVIS FROM HIS CABINET POST. NOTHING LESS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE OR JUSTIFIABLE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

2

realfreethinker 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Davis will rue the day he put Munroe in his cabinet. He still have a chance to do a course correction. Like you said if the other cabinet members does not speak out, I will consider them in agreement. Why hasn't the PM spoken up yet?

1

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Hey idiot : Munroe was not the judge in the matter nor the prosecutor. He, with his knowledge of the law, was only explaining why the sentencing was what it was and also indicated what it could have been if the defense attorney had been more diligent. If the penalties need to be increased then so be it. There is a difference between unlawful sexual inter course and rape. Rape is considered a crime of violence.. That is why the laws were re-written to clearly reclassify statuary rape as unlawful sexual intercourse. So technically if a person rapes an underage girl, technically he can be charged with rape and unlawful sexual intercourse.

1

AnObserver 2 months, 4 weeks ago

This guy is a serious piece of work.

1

thomas 2 months, 4 weeks ago

A 14 year old should be too busy with their education to be in a sexual relationship. Who is to decide if she was coerced, induced or intimidated into "consenting"?

1

bahamianson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Rape is wrong, but whom is to decide if she wasnt taking advantage of the 40 year old? She had sex several times, she went to his house passing several adults along the way. She may have been manipulating him for every dollar he had in the world..

1

Proguing 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Munroe still thinks he is a defense attorney...

0

tribanon 2 months, 4 weeks ago

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH DAVIS? CAT GOT HIS TONGUE? BY NOW HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD THE SOB MUNROE TO IMMEDIATELY SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION FROM CABINET OR ELSE.

AND NOTE THAT WE STILL HAVE NO PUBLIC OUTCRY FROM ANY CABINET MEMBER. ARE THEY ALL SUPPORTIVE OF THE VIEWS AND BELIEFS OF THE MOST DISGUSTING, LOATHESOME AND REPUGNANT MUNROE? THERE ARE SOMETHINGS THE "COLLECTIVE DOCTRINE" WAS NEVER INTENDED TO APPLY TO AND THIS IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THEM.

1

realfreethinker 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I am so disgusted by Davis and crew. Munroe has put his foot in his throat more than enough time to have been fired by now

1

Dawes 2 months, 4 weeks ago

It seems some do not understand. It does not matter if the girl paid the guy for sex, she is underage and therefore it is statutory rape. There is no part of the law that says "this does not apply if the girl consents". In fact it explicitly says consent or not, so that doesn't matter. There is no excuse for a 40 year old to be sleeping with a 14 year old. The book should be thrown at him.

2

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

And as a side note and still somewhat related to this matter but never to justify the actions of the 40 year old man. But do you know what one of the biggest problems young men face who are into the club scene? Talking about teenagers and guys in their early 20’s. They go in a club and meet a young female. They hit it off talking and dancing. She’s consuming alcohol and because she is in the club and consuming alcohol, the young man assumes she’s at least eighteen. And as the night progresses they leave the club and engages in sex. Then it is not until days or weeks or even months later the guy finds out the girl is not 18 but a 14 or 16 or even 16 year old. And sometimes when they try to break off the relationship, the girl can become very aggressive and threatening. The most common threat is ‘I ger tell them you raped me.’ And this can also be very devastating for the young man who may be away in college or on a successful career path. In Florida, authorities tried to make the club owners responsible and liable if they allowed underage patrons in a club without proper id or with fake id. So as Wayne Munroe and The DDP was trying to explain, the circumstances of the case determine what the panalties are after conviction.

1

bahamianson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

John, this is reasonable. They are so many facts that lead to a persons actions , and all have to be considered with emotions out.

0

tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Possibly too much of the wrong kind of cannabis.

0

personalassist 2 months, 4 weeks ago

This what happens when a Defense/ Criminal Lawyer becomes Minister of National Security. His outlook will always be from a criminal defense point of view.

1

John 2 months, 4 weeks ago

‘ Police found the girl at the man’s home after an anonymous tip in early 2020 and met her putting on her school uniform. The child was examined at the hospital and where it was discovered she was pregnant.’ The matter happened two years ago and the victim is now 16 and apparently the mother of a child that is at least one year old. So what is the relationship between the victim and the convict and the child and the convict? Has the convict been forbidden to have any contact with the victim and will he (the convict) be denied parental rights upon his release from prison? Has a paternity test been done to determine the true father of the child, based on inferred statements made about the victim and generalized statements about the sexual activity of young people?

1

DEDDIE 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Wayne Munroe short coming is the fact that he is not a politician. He bleeds the law. He is not going to tell you what you want to hear. He gonna tell you what the law says and what he believes. Our preference is someone who speaks with flowery words, innuendos and false truths.

1

zemilou 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I gave several interviews and I hope that pulling the salient points together in one place can be helpful to understanding my position:

1 Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child under 16 is disordered.

Excuse me sir, is your definition of "disordered" ILLEGAL? That's what the primary issue is here. Immoral, yes. Abusive, yes. But, for this discussion, the word is illegal.

And, yes, Mr. DPM, the age of consent must be raised to an unqualified, unambiguous 18 years old. No loopholes.

0

tribanon 2 months, 4 weeks ago

When Munroe spoke his most disgusting, loathsome, and repugnant words, not only did he not misspeak, but he was speaking in an official capacity as a member of cabinet with ministerial responsibility for national security.

How many times have we been reminded that under our parliamentary system of government, cabinet speaks and acts under the 'collective doctrine' with one voice as the policy making and legislative arm of our government?

If Munroe is allowed to remain in cabinet, then it can only mean that each and every cabinet minister from Davis right on down the ladder is supportive of the outrageous and unacceptable views he expressed in public as a cabinet minister. They will be deemed to be supportive of Munroe under their very own collective doctrine whereby they speak with one voice for government on all policy related matters.

Already the public has a number of grave concerns about the collective views and beliefs of cabinet, with Davis's recent appointment of the loathsome gambling thug Sebas Bastian to a 'diplomatic' post accompanied by a public reference to him as "His Excellency" being the latest case in point.

And Davis's wife speaking out against Munroe's disgracefully abhorrent opinion as a cabinet minister is not a legitimate substitute for each and every cabinet member doing the only right and proper thing in the circumstances, i.e., unanimously cry out for Munroe to immediately submit his letter of resignation. And if he fails to do so, then Davis should not be seen to be hiding under his wife's skirt as a means of dodging doing the only right thing...firing Munroe from his cabinet post.

Now more than ever, Davis needs to send a very clear and unequivocal message that no one in his cabinet may support in any way the sexually assault or abuse of minors in our country, especially young girls. Davis and the other cabinet ministers must not allow Munroe to keep his cabinet post and sit among them.

No leader of a parliamentary democracy in the free world today worth his salt would accept a cabinet minister uttering such abhorrent views and beliefs in private, let alone in public. Swift action must be taken because the people will not accept nor forget this one...ever!

0

John 2 months, 3 weeks ago

You know, over the years you always heard about humans evolving fry m apes. And some went as far as to say black people were monkeys. Porch monkeys to be exact. Now new information is coming out that there was actual inbreeding with humans and apes that occurred over the centuries. It happened in the Caucus Mountains which was a mountain ridge behind Georgia in Russia. The end result of this inbreeding was the Caucasian who got their name fry m living in caves up in the Caucus Mountains. The inbreed species eventually came down and populated Asia and Europe and eventually made it to the United States. The point people always have ulterior motives, especially for not telling the truth. Google Yakub

0

tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

You're a shining example of the harm habitual smoking of potent cannabis does to the human brain.

0

Sign in to comment