SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Sunday August 14th, 2022, the board of the United Sint Maarten Party (USP) lamented that proposed amendments to the child sex abuse law submitted to parliament by its leader Pamela Gordon-Carty needs to be prioritized and passed.
On March 11th, 2022, proposed amendments to strengthen child sex abide laws was presented to the Chairlady of Parliament, Member of Parliament (MP) Grisha Heyliger-Marten by the leader of the United St. Maarten Mrs. Pamela Gordon-Carty and President of the Board Mr. Cecil Nicholas.
The proposed amendments addressed specific loop holes and flaws in the current law that allow sexual predators the freedom to walk away unpunished for crimes against minors. The amendments also address the lack of tools available to police investigators to pursue perpetrators of child abuse. A definitive age of a minor was also proposed in the amendments along with clear definitions of acts of child sexual abuse.
Gordon-Carty said at the time that there was an urgent need to take a serious look at all of our laws that are out dated, and adjust them to fit present day realities. She further stated, “Situations continue to go unresolved because of an unbalanced justice system, our child sex abuse laws are inadequate in addressing punishment and also limits the scope of investigations.”
“The alleged child sex abuse as reported by Mr. Ralph Cantave, over the weekend, along with the recent court cases involving not only abuse, but the alleged facilitation by adults of said abuse highlights the urgent need for parliament to address the proposed amendments to the child sex abuse laws that were proposed by our leader Mrs. Pamela Gordon-Carty,” said the President of the United St. Maarten Party Mr. Cecil Nicholas. He further stated, “As it stands according to our existing laws the alleged abuse that took place at the school is not punishable by law, because the acts involved are not covered/listed as a violation under our existing laws.” The proposed amendments to the existing law would also help our institutions create enforceable policies and procedures that are routed in a firm legal position, allowing for more decisive decision making in alleged sex abuse cases, said Nicholas.
The amendments to the child sex abuse law as proposed by our leader Mrs. Pamela Gordon-Carty would make acts such as the ones alleged in the case at St. Dominic High School criminally punishable. So we are not only appealing to Parliament, but also the population to reach out to your elected representatives and demand these amendments be addressed on the floor of parliament and passed before more innocent lives are unjustly affected without any legal repercussions. “Walking away scott-free from permanently damaging our young people can no longer be an option for these sometimes repeat sexual predators,” continued Nicholas.
“We have had a long history of being subjective on many concerning matters within our communities, whispers are now becoming echoes, let’s not allow the echoes to become the norm while our children suffer. It is time to be objective and decisive on this issue of child sex abuse, the necessary amendments have been submitted to parliament, join us in demanding they be addressed and debated on the floor of parliament post haste, in order to prevent any more children from receiving justice for the irreversible damage done to them through unjustified abuse executed by adults charged with their wellbeing, lets break the cycle,” concluded Nicholas.