Saturday 11 July, 2020

Raymond to Face Off Against 18-Year-Old Woman in Blackmail Case

The much anticipated case involving Minister Ubaldus Raymond and 18-year-old Curshaby Alexander of Beausejour, Gros Islet will be heard in court on the 2nd of next month.

The matter, which surfaced in the public realm a week ago via social media, has placed the minister at the centre of a scandal where supposedly nude photos of him in conversation with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College student via text messages went viral.

This soon snowballed into a fireball of public criticism with calls for him to resign his position, calls to which he has paid no heed, instead going about the business of government in the usual manner, appearing Wednesday as the keynote speaker at a productivity improvement workshop.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has made it clear to the media that he will wait until the court proceedings have been completed before coming to a conclusion regarding Raymond. He also assured the press that there have been no signs that the minister has been distracted by the scandals and is performing his duties normally.

And almost as swiftly as the WhatsApp text and photos sped through cyberspace came the arraignment of Alexander last week Friday, charged with blackmail, spurring even further criticisms of the minister and the quickness in which the matter made it to the courts.

Alexander was granted bail to the tune of $10,000, charged under Section 223 of the Criminal Code which states that a person commits the offence of blackmail if, “with a view to gain for himself or herself or another person or with intent to cause loss to another person, he or she makes any unwarranted demand with menaces; and for this person a demand with menaces is unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief that he or she has reasonable grounds for making the demand; and that the use of the menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand; and, the nature of the act or omission demanded is immaterial, and it is also immaterial that the menaces relate to action to be taken by the person making the demand.”

The section further states that a person who commits the offence of blackmail is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 14 years.

Raymond, the very same day of Alexander’s indictment, released a statement claiming that people will constantly try to besmirch his character and use underhanded tactics to undermine his credibility and that there have been attempts to threaten him and extort monies from him through devious means.

He further claimed that the situation he now finds himself in is not a unique one in the world and that others had gone through similar circumstances, probably unable to fight back because of being scared, ashamed or unwilling to open themselves up to the kind of attention that shame victims of such crimes.

Stating that no amount of threats will cause him to turn away from his values as a human being and a family man, Raymond maintained that he will not give in to political operatives who will use the most disgusting tactics in order to malign his name or scare him into submission, adding that he will not be bullied because he is not afraid.

But his statement has not quelled the tide of public criticism of him and neither has it stemmed public discourse on the matter.


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