When they were convicted in February 2019, a child sex offender was sentenced to five years in prison. Despite this, they were released on Thursday, December 24, having served less than half of their sentence To date, the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) and the Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs Kathy-Lynn Simmons have not identified the offender’s identity, causing anxiety within the community.
“Any adult who suffers with sexual thoughts of children and acts upon that is a danger to children,” Debi Ray-Rivers, Executive Director of the Saving Children And Revealing Secrets (SCARS) charity, said.
Ms. Ray-Rivers and other members of the public are asking on what basis the offender was released from prison and why the government did not make the public aware of their release straight away.
“Were the police informed of their release? Were organizations that take care of children informed? I think that’s very important [to know],” she said. Ms. Ray Rivers also wonders if all sexual predators are receiving the most effective treatment while incarcerated and if there are written records that show if they have completed the treatment process.
“Those who make the decisions to release [sexual predators] should be able to see those records of that person’s progress in the treatment plan,” she said.
Ms. Ray Rivers urges the public to think take child sexual abuse on the island more seriously.
“There are serious effects on children when they are not properly protected,” she said. “They cannot protect themselves, they are simply children.” SCARS is educating people and organizations within the community about what to look out for and what the signs are in children who may have been affected by a sexual predator, as well as how to properly reach out to those children.
“If we think that a child would be unphased or unaffected by sexual abuse we are sadly mistaken,” Ms. Ray-Rivers said. “It affects them into their adulthood and it could affect the health of our community.”
TNN sort a response from the AG Kathy-Lynn Simmons on this matter and was issued this short statement.
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