Expert Praises Scars

News  |  November 1, 2019

A British child protection campaigner said last week she envied the progress made by a Bermudian child sex abuse prevention charity. Marilyn Hawes added that Saving Children and Revealing Secrets had “nailed it”. She was speaking after she met Scars founder Debi Ray-Rivers. Ms Hawes said: “I’m really privileged and proud to know Debi because what she’s achieving is awesome. “She ha... Read more

‘No gap’ in exploitation law – Government

News  |  October 25, 2019

The Bermuda Government does not believe there is a “gap in the law” that allows adults in positions of trust or authority to sexually exploit children aged over 16. Christine DaCosta, who was targeted by a teacher at Mount Saint Agnes Academy when she was 17, said there should be legislative change to close a loophole that allowed teachers, sports coaches and others who work with young people... Read more

Bermuda law not in accordance with Britain

News  |  October 25, 2019

A teacher in Bermuda who had consensual sex with a pupil would not commit the offence of “sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust or authority” if the child is aged 16 or over — unlike in Britain. It has been an offence there since 2001 for a person older than 18 in a specified “position of trust” to have sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18, even if the relatio... Read more

Christine’s nightmare

News  |  October 25, 2019

Christine DaCosta “vividly” remembers the moment in 1998 when Robert DiGiacomo, her history teacher at Mount Saint Agnes Academy, told her he loved her. The encounter happened on a Saturday night after Mass, during April’s Holy Week, after he walked her from church to her bike. Ms DaCosta said the incident changed the nature of their relationship — and the entire course of her life. Ms ... Read more

Ms X: DiGiacomo kissed me in 1981

News  |  October 25, 2019

History teacher Robert DiGiacomo forcibly kissed a 17-year-old schoolgirl on the night of her graduation from Mount Saint Agnes Academy and later went to her home with a gift of jewellery. The woman, referred to as Ms X to protect her identity, told The Royal Gazette the two incidents happened in 1981, when Mr DiGiacomo would have been 27. She said she remembered him starting work at the Catholi... Read more

Bishop will act if more victims emerge

News  |  October 25, 2019

The Catholic Bishop of Hamilton said yesterday he would launch an investigation if more victims of former Mount Saint Agnes Academy history teacher Robert DiGiacomo came forward. The Most Reverend Wes Spiewak said former pupils should contact him if they knew of any wrongdoing that occurred during Mr DiGiacomo’s 20-year teaching career at the Catholic private school. He added: “I will go for... Read more

The scars are still deep

News  |  October 25, 2019

A woman groomed by her teacher for sex while she was a teenage schoolgirl has called for a change to the law to protect 16 and 17-year-old girls from predators. Christine DaCosta, 38, said adults who worked with children could target girls by grooming them before they reached the age of consent, but avoid prosecution by not having sex with them until they reached the age of 16. Ms DaCosta told T... Read more

Paddle round island to support Scars

News  |  October 1, 2019

First it was kayakers, then surf skiers joined in and paddlers got on board last year — now it is hoped more people than ever will get on the water for a round-the-island challenge this weekend. Jerry Rivers, an organiser of Kayak For Kids, said the event to raise money for Saving Children and Revealing Secrets was growing annually. He called on members of the community to take part in the two... Read more

Fugitives show catches up to sex predator

News  |  September 24, 2019

A wanted sex offender from Bermuda, who was tracked down by police to a hostel in Liverpool, is the subject of a television show in Britain. Malik Zuill, 22, from Warwick, was working as a cleaner when British police caught him and extradited him to the island to face accusations that he groomed and sexually assaulted an underage girl in 2015. Zuill later admitted in Magistrates’ Court charges... Read more

Column: Education Minister On SCARS Training

News  |  September 4, 2019

[Column written by Minister of Education Diallo Rabain] “The safety of children is paramount to the Ministry and Department of Education”. This is a statement I have said many times and in different ways over the last year. It is a statement I stand by and is not to be limited to physical health alone. The emotional well-being of students is of extreme importance as well. As we continue our ... Read more

Senate tables child protection Bill

News  |  July 18, 2019

Residents who commit sexual assaults against Bermudian-based children overseas could face prosecution on the island under legislation backed by senators yesterday. Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, said the legislation was an “important component” of a wide-ranging Bill that was given unanimous backing by the Upper House. Ms Simmons added: “An importan... Read more

Scars: backlogs for sex crimes ‘inexcusable’

News  |  July 4, 2019

A child safety campaigner has called for urgent investment in more courtroom space so young victims of sex crimes do not have to wait years for their cases to be heard. Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder an executive director of charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, wrote in an opinion piece for The Royal Gazette: “We have a very limited number of courtrooms available for criminal, matrimoni... Read more