Alleged rape on Inagua involved defense force marines

RBDF commodore has turned the matter over to police

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The man accused of raping a 31-year-old female officer of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine is also a marine, according to the RBDF Commodore Raymond King, who said he has handed over the matter to the police force to be fully investigated in the interest of transparency.

In an interview with Eyewitness News today, King indicated the marine accused is believed to be between the age of 30 and 34.

When asked whether the incident took place on the defense force base in Matthew Town, the commodore advised he did not wish to “bias the police investigation and I would deal and allow the police to submit those particulars forthwith to the public”.

“It is most unfortunate I was advised over the weekend by the captain of the southern command that an alleged incident of rape between two members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force was lodged,” he said.

“The matter was turned over immediately to the Royal Bahamas Police Force for investigation. Those persons will be extracted from HMBS Matthew Town once police would have finished with their initial investigations in Inagua.

“I have spoken with the commissioner of police and we will allow the police force to deal with that matter. Those sorts of acts are unacceptable, alleged albeit, unacceptable.

“We are a disciplined force and we are expected to demonstrate good order and military discipline at all times, whereby persons are expected to subscribe to our core values and centuries of military customs and traditions.

“We are supposed to be above board.

“And so, by no means [does] this administration condones or encourages such acts.

“We don’t support it and I will allow those sort of matters — those criminal intended matters — to be dealt with transparently, swiftly and with due process.”

The commodore said he has consented to a sexual harassment policy that he intends to sign off on today and presented to the minister of national security for consideration as a defense force instruction.

He said at current the defense force does not have a fraternization policy nor any area of the public service, but that is “something that deserves discussion moving forward in the near future”.

“This administration will not condone those sort of alleged acts and persons will be held to account for their actions, and if persons are hell-bent on committing such acts or alleged to have committed such acts, I encourage them to do the honorable thing: resign or retire from this organization because there is simply no place for such persons to be a part of.”

Last July, Yorick Brice Jr, 26, a RBDF marine of eight years, his brother and a teenager were charged with the rape of two girl who attended a party hosted by Brice’s family.

As pointed by the commodore, the matter is ongoing before the courts.

“He has since been interdicted and placed essentially on administrative leave,” King said.

“He has no authority, powers or privileges as a member of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force until that matter has been disposed of one way or the other.

“And once persons, and if persons are convicted, they would automatically be dismiised from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.