Friday 4 December, 2020

Another teen charged with blackmail in Ubaldus Raymond nude photo scandal

A second 18-year-old young woman, Kershel Louis, has been charged with blackmail in the Ubaldus Raymond nude photo scandal.

Louis was arrested days ago and appeared in the Gros Islet court yesterday where she was granted $5000 bail after being charged with blackmail.

The blackmail case stems from an incident which surfaced over social media in January between Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ubaldus Raymond, and 18-year-old Curshaby Alexander, who was also charged with blackmail and granted bail.

The scandal is about nude photos purporting to be the Minister and extracts of a WhatsApp conversation between himself and Alexander which circulated in the public domain.

The accused young women appear to be friends.

Raymond said that he had been threatened over the course of a few weeks in what he described as, “attempts to extort monies from me through devious means”.

He continued, “I will not give in to political operatives who will use the most disgusting tactics in order to malign my name or to scare me into submission. I will trust in the Court system and in the Almighty God.”

He continued, “I know that other persons have gone through similar circumstances and they have probably not been able to fight back. They have been too scared, they have felt ashamed or they did not want to open up themselves to the kind of attention that shames victims of such crimes.”

Raymond has garnered harsh criticism as well as encouraging support from members of society and his peers.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called for patience saying that once the case is heard “and we understand what the facts are then everybody can jump to whatever conclusion they want because it will be based on fact.”

Alvina Reynolds of the SLP stated, "In these circumstances, it is most evident that Dr. Ubaldus Raymond must do the honourable thing and tender his resignation immediately. I am appalled that neither Dr. Ubaldus Raymond himself, nor the Prime Minster would have seen if fit for his resignation to have been tendered with the equivalent promptness at which the student was arrested and charged for alleged involvement in the matter."

Reynolds spoke at the Castires Market Steps at an SLP public meeting in February where she added, "All of a sudden an 18-year-old is a big woman. Shameful. An 18-year-old student. A grown, married family man.”

In the wake of the scandal, Loop St Lucia asked our readers, "Should the Cabinet of Ministers ask Ubaldus Raymond to resign?"

The result was decisive with 74.3% of respondents agreeing that the minister should be asked to resign versus just 25.7% saying that he should not be asked to do so.

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