[www.inewsguyana.com] – Presidential Advisor on Governance and Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira has come out in defense of the young man who has made damming allegations; claiming he was raped by House Speaker Raphael Trotman when he was only 12 – years – old.
Teixeira in responding to an injunction which the Speaker secured against Johnny Welshman, said that no allegation of sexual abuse whether made by a male or female and whether current or going back to their childhood, should be muzzled.
“His complaint should always be taken seriously and be heard and our facilities, institutions, services and environment must always be ones that promote and facilitate such a complaint being made,” the government Chief Whip said in a letter to the Editor.
She has denounced what she said are attempts to gag the accuser. The Government Chief Whip believes the injunction sets a dangerous precedent.
“It opens a door where any and every person who is accused of rape can go to the Court, claim that his/her reputation is being damaged, that the person making the allegations is sick, and that it was a plot or ploy by another person/persons and secure an injunction against the person who is making the claim,” she explained.
She argued too that the injunction now negates the work of the women’s rights movement over the last thirty years and the work of the 9th Parliament which drafted the laws and more importantly the thousands of Guyanese who contributed to that process.
“All the work that has been expended to foster an environment to encourage victims of sexual violence to trust the system (police, social workers, prosecutors, and judges) and report these cases has been severely eroded,” she said; adding that “this injunction sends a dangerous but clear message that accused persons can use their money and might to go to court and secure an injunction against a complainant from talking about or publishing the ordeal that the victim suffered.”
Teixeira said it is regrettable that the injunction validates once again public opinion of the judicial system. She maintains that the injunction is terribly dangerous; saying it has undermined the entire tenets of justice for victims of sexual violence.
She made it clear too that she was not judging whether the accused Trotman is guilty or not, but believes it is for the court and a jury, if it ever reaches there.
Meanwhile, the Chief Whip lashed out at Rights Groups for what she said was deafening silence in response to “this unprecedented injunction.”
“In the same way that these groups were justifiably adamant that the order should not have been made by the High Court in the Commissioner of Police Henry Greene matter (he too was innocent until proven guilty ), so too, one would expect that they would now be out in full force condemning the grant of this injunction.”
She said the fact that the rights groups are silent in the face of this horrific development is “very, very sad and worrying.”
She concluded that how Guyanese society treats with this issue will depend on how fair and even handed the scale of justice is for the accuser and the accused.