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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Curtis Baptiste re-arrested, was it politically motivated?

I posting a commentary on this story that accusing 69-year-old Curtis Baptiste of supposedly having criminal contact with a thirteen year-old girl the first time it made the headlines. In my commentary (NDC political activist on alleged rape charge), I called for Mr. Curtis Baptiste to be punished to the full extent of the law. Because, time and time again, in this Country, adult males escape punishment after committing this kind of illicit acts because of many reason. For, example, the ability to give money to the victim and to other people who are aware of the crime in hops that they remain silence and Mr. Curtis Baptiste certainly falls within this category being a businessman. Another is, political connection, again, Mr. Curtis Baptiste enjoys a cozy relationship with the now ruling political party, and yet another reason is the intimidation wherein the victims are frightened into not coming to her own defense. This tactics of evading punishment for crimes committed are pervasive throughout Grenada’s social strata.  
However, does anyone of these reasons mention above plays a part in this Victoria businessman acquittal of the alleged crime. During a conversation with a friend about the acquittal, I was reminded that these reasons are major obstacles in serving justice in our country and, as a result, cannot be ruled out in this case. Thus, with this in mind, let’s look at the case as reported.
According to the report given by an eyewitness, he or she was “two hundred yards away from the site of the incident said he saw Baptiste jump over the fence.”  Now this claim is a major or the major point in the case since this is the medium, according to the eyewitness, by which the accused supposedly apprehend the victim. This, however, was not just a ordinary brick fence, it was “made of three feet galvanise, and the other three feet being barbed wire…..”  Yes, a 6-foot wall made with half galvanize and half barbed wire. Think about it, a 69-year-old man jumping this dangerous fence to see a thirteen year-old girl. This story certainly, has the hallmark of a fabrication, or, maybe the eyewitness is grossly mistaken as to what he or she saw.  
So, now that the charges against Mr. Curtis Baptiste has been dismissed, why then was he being re-arrested for the same crime? This cannot happened, it’s double jeopardy, being charge for the same crime twice. This is certainly a weird turn of event, and because of the ambiguity in this case, I am leaning onto the side of those who believe this re-arrest is politically motivated. The entire even may have just been that, a politically vendetta. Indeed, Mr. Baptiste “was once close to the main opposition New National Party (NNP) but moved away from the political group in the aftermath of a fall-out over an earlier multi-million dollar poultry project in St. Mark’s in which he felt that he was given a “rotten deal.” Now, however, Mr. Baptiste “is an activist of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.”
In my view, this whole thing has politics all over it, and the people we trust to uphold the law, our men and women in uniform, is once again implicated in another unlawful act.  Again, the trust the Grenadian people have invest in our law enforcement officers is gradually been chipped away. Not only that, this incident is also bad for our country’s image, period.   

Source - The New Today: Curtis Baptiste re-arrest for rape

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