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Child sexual abuse fueling VI's social ills - Hon Turnbull

- says supports Gov'ts proposal to increase penalties for sexual crimes against minors
With the debate of the Computer Misuse & Cyber Crime Amendment Act 2019 ongoing ahead of the third and final reading of the bill, Second District Representative in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka 'Mitch' says he supports all proposed increases in penalties for sexual crimes against minors. Photo: VINO
Premier Andrew A. Fahie through the government is proposing stiff penalties as much as $500,000 against not only sexual crimes but for cyber activity deemed criminal according to the new legislation. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie through the government is proposing stiff penalties as much as $500,000 against not only sexual crimes but for cyber activity deemed criminal according to the new legislation. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie in his presentation to the House had noted that given the vulnerability of children, they require more layers of legislative protection than adults. Photo: Internet Source
Premier Andrew A. Fahie in his presentation to the House had noted that given the vulnerability of children, they require more layers of legislative protection than adults. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - With the proposed Computer Misuse & Cyber Crime Amendment Act 2019 heading to a Select Committee of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) ahead of its third and final reading, Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka 'Mitch' says he supports all increases in penalties for sexual crimes against minors.

Pointing out at the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly, on August 1, 2019, that in the past, VI's youngest were once loured with money for sex, Hon Turnbull said that while certain aspects of the bill is still missing, there is now a relationship between child sexual abuse and the growing social ills facing the territory today.   

The Past and the Future 

“I remember back in 2008 or 2009 in the youth court, there was a whole thing going around... here in this BVI where schooled age children… were being loured with money to buy their books and school materials in exchange for sexual favours, both male and female," Hon Turnbull told the House. 

He revealed to the first legal case on the issue was not only troubling but disturbing to see older men and women take advantage of minors in the territory, "some of whom were never caught or charged," he said. 

"That was ten years ago, and the demographics now reveal the social ills that happened with those same young persons," he said.

“We look 10 years later and we look around this society and see how many different socials ills now happened with some of those same young persons, is because they have had a damaged past and what is left is you have not only children raising children but decisions being made based on what happened to them 10 years ago," he said. 

According to Hon Turnbull in response to Premier Andrew A. Fahie—who presented the bill—with regards to crimes against minors, "You will have no dissenting view from me from what I heard you read out so far and even what’s in the legislation.”

Stiffer Penalties  

The government through the legislation is proposing stiff penalties as much as $500,000 against not only sexual crimes but for cyber activity deemed criminal according to the Act. 

Some categories include harassment, stalking, grossly offensive behavior, criminal intimidation, blackmail, criminal deception and more. However, according to Hon Turnbull, the legislation in its current form is still missing key proponents.  

“Part of this bill that covers young persons and minors… there are some missing pieces of supporting legislation to help [with] some of the crimes committed against minors, in addition to the penalties associated with that,” Mr Turnbull said. 

He pointed to the need to protect children with their use of connected devices and gadgets. 

“But in this technological age… I think all of us in here have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren in certain stages and this age we also give them whether phones or iPad or whatever the other gadgets that we give them and some of them are more advanced than us,” Mitch told the HoA. 

More Protection 

He said that special attention needs to be taken when children use devices, “There is in fact an evil world out there, some nasty people out there Mr Speaker, they are some people that prey on the innocence of young persons.”

Premier Fahie in his presentation to the House had noted that given the vulnerability of children, they require more layers of legislative protection than adults. 

5 Responses to “Child sexual abuse fueling VI's social ills - Hon Turnbull”

  • 911 (03/08/2019, 09:32) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mitch is right
  • LE Partner (03/08/2019, 09:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes the laws need modernising to capture online grooming, live streaming of child sex, and possession and making of indecent images of children. There also needs to be education as to what to look out for from victims and parents views. sexual predators with interests in children live in plain site in communities all over the world. The RVIPF also need to train and invest in systems to identify illegal material to aid prosecutions. Finally the old adage that what happens in a home is nobody business, is ok as long as it is not illegal.
  • Sorry to hear (03/08/2019, 11:34) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Parents are to be blame a lot of times. I now see children dressing like adults all these braids and all the clothes them wearing. Children must be taught that are beautiful without these kind of things. Also self esteem and peer pressure doing a lot to these children. Everyone want name brand and the biggest phone sometimes I have to wonder if these children are working to afford these things. We don’t talk to our children anymore they do what they want and go where they want, it’s a sick world.
  • Church & State (03/08/2019, 12:13) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mitch is a man of God


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