BBC Charged With Naming Alleged Sex Offender

March 6, 2013

This morning [Mar 6] in Magistrates Court the Bermuda Broadcasting Company was charged with naming an alleged sexual offender.

BBC was charged with two counts of unlawfully publishing the name of a man charged with a sexual offence and the name of the alleged complainant. The names were alleged to have been published on 14 January 2013.

BBC was represented by lawyer Richard Horseman and the matter comes back to court for mention on 24th March 2013.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Trish says:

    Why shouldn’t they be named!!! I believe they should be shamed for their actions!!! They shouldn’t be able to commit the crime then live in peace.

    • chris says:

      innocent until proven guilty. if you were wrongfully accused of a sexual offence, would you want your identity prematurely released?

      i agree with your sentiment though, why protect them?!

      • Good News Bda says:

        Chris..I would normally agree, except that in Bermuda he who has the best lawyer wins, or he who has the right inconsistent Judge wins. In the last 10+ years at least we have seen many obviously guilty people get off or given probation for all sorts of serious crimes.

        We should all start a fund to help pay for the BBC fine.

        • andre says:

          Get off or is it that either BPS or AG chambers are incompetent?

    • Onion says:

      The key word is alleged… What if he’s innocent, should his name be published? Think about how hard life would be for someone if they are labeled as a sex offender before they are even convicted. There are many cases in the states where people have been charged and were later cleared of any wrong doing. There was a case at the end of last year where a drunk woman claimed a cab driver sexually assaulted her to avoid paying the cab fare. Luckily for him his cab had a camera it that recorded the whole trip. Here’s a link to a story from the UK this woman has made 11 false rape claims in 10 yrs.

      • Jesse says:

        Onion you make a point but why is this protection only for sex crimes????You can be charged with minor crimes like stealing some soda and be nmed before you are guilty. So the worst possible type of possible criminals get protection, while some teenage boy accused of having a spliff can be named and have his life ruined even if he is innocent. But some creep who could very well be guilty of rape can’t be????

        • Onion says:

          I see your point. However in most of those case they have been seen taking or caught with. You can’t really argue that one. Also because this is such a horrible crime it is better to air on the side of caution. While being caught stealing is bad being accused of a sex crime carries a certain stigma to it (as well it should). Sometimes that can never be lived down if you are wrongly accused.

          • Fed Up says:

            Name them when they are found guilty, I agree not before but why should they remain protected if found guilty.

            • Onion says:

              I don’t think they should be afterwards. A lot of the time though it is done to protect the victim as they can be identified by the perpetrator. Tbh i don’t know what the answer is there. On the one hand the victim doesn’t need this brought up to them by people, but on the other i feel the public has a right to know who these people are.

            • Seriously???!!!?? says:

              I think not naming is to protect the identiy of the victim. it is had to keep the victim’s identiy secret once the perpertrator has been publicy identified.

      • Free says:

        But in Bermuda a lot of the times even when they are convicted they don’t release the name either. Some nonsense about protecting the victim.

        • hmm says:

          they don’t name in order to protect the victim in cases where it will be obvious who the victim is once the perpetrator is named, ie: somebody’s niece/nephew, daughter/son, grand daughter/son, neighbor etc

          • Free says:

            Uh, I said that. I don’t agree with it-why protect one person when you can be protecting countless others by naming the perpetrator? Or better yet keeping them in jail where they belong so we wouldn’t even need to know who they are to keep away.

    • Get Your Life! says:

      NOT defending him but it says “alleged sexual offender”.. In other words NOT convicted and though we don’t like it and want to condemn this man to hell let us first get all the facts.

      Another note WHY do we need to know the name of the alleged complainant?? It is hard enough to come forward with this and now we have to worry about if our names will be printed or released to the public. Not a good look.

  2. Nat says:

    Ermmm why should sexual offenders have any type of privacy????? EVERY convicted sexual offender should be NAMED AND SHAMED what’s wrong with you???

    • keturah says:

      the young victims have to be protected, that is why.

      • tricks are for kids.. says:

        @ Keturah and THAT is exactly why they should be named to protect the young.

        I would rather be aware that a sex offender lives next door to me than to know that my neighbour got caught speeding and had a spliff in his pocket.

    • Good News Bda says:

      Every serious crime offender should be shamed

  3. Chris P Bacon says:

    Congratulations to BBC I’d say!

  4. Stupidty says:

    Sheer stupidity. You can name people for speeding, smoking weed, swearing, stealing a $5 item but someone names an alleged sex offender and they get hauled into court? Doesn’t our justice system have anything better to do than haul some reporter into court for this nonsense? In the meantime, we have murderers on the loose, pedos raping kids, people importing guns and they drag BBC in for naming some alleged perv? DAMN we should be naming all the pervs anyway, other countries they have sex offender registrations and here we drag people into coirt for naming them? Can you say BACKWARDS!

    • My Two Cents says:

      One big difference is that with other crimes there is usually some type of evidence such as speed trap, CCTV, eyewitnesses, etc. With sex crimes it is usually one person’s word against another. Even with physical evidence, it may have been consensual. There is a certain stigma attached to men accused of sex crimes (perv, freak, etc). That stigma doesn’t seem to apply to other crimes.

    • REAL TALK says:

      I say name them….. It’s way too much of this happening on this little island. Our children are being used and abused at an alarming rate in Bda. Let’s start protecting them from these creeps. If any of the kids in my immediate family tell me anything like someone touched them in a wrong way , his (her) name will be printed for sure. In a column that appears every day on the second last page of the daily.

  5. Areyouserious? says:

    Good for the BBC, name and shame them I say.

  6. Jesse says:

    I thought the OBA was going to change this dumb law?

  7. I'm just sayin... says:

    Ummmm, just a thought, what happens if he is found NOT GUILTY? After it’s not like mistakes have ever been made when determining someones innocence or guilt.

    • tricks are for kids.. says:

      Than the article would read “Joe Blow” has been found not guilty…

  8. 1minute says:

    He is alleged…. Anyway, the law is there to protect the victim as in a lot of cases, knowing who the offender is, lends you to the victim.

  9. Malachi says:

    It’s clear that a few of bloggers have missed the point.

    The defendant has yet to be found guilty of the alleged sex crime. As such, the law says that he CANNOT be named.

    Should he be found guilty, he still may not be named.

    This is where the problem lies.

    I have a problem with the excuse that it is to “protect” the victim!

    Protect the victim from what? It is the vicim who has already been harmed.

    By naming the offender, we may indeed offer some protection to the rest of society.

    • BG says:

      No YOU have missed the point…you ask what are they protecting the victims from…they are protecting the victims from the public finding out who THEY are. Most times especially in Bermuda people can easily figure out who the victim was based on who the criminal was. ie…John Doe was found guilty of raping a family friend…and there you go just like that everyone is talking and knows who the family friend is..

      Think about it…

      • Malachi says:

        I have never quite understood why there is some shame or stigma attached to one being sexually assaulted.

        I have a few daughters and I know they would have no problem with having their attackers name published if they were such a victim.

        They would feel no shame for being a victim.

        We need to rid ourselves of this silly notion that somehow sexual assault victims are these anonymous individuals who maybe even asked for it!

        I guess what I am trying say is that as a society, we need to grow up!

        • My Two Cents says:

          @Malachi. There is shame attached because it is the most intimate of all crimes. There are very few women that don’t feel shame when this happens to them. We are not talking about someone beating you up or stealing your purse, we are talking about someone violating you in the worse possible way. I take it you are male from your insensitive comment. By the way, MEN can be sexually assaulted too. I am sure if that happened to you, as a man, you would not be shouting about it from the rooftops. Nor would you want your buddies to know.

    • Trish says:

      Yes the victim has been harmed but having people know that such an act has happened to them is not fair to the victim.
      To have the stigma of being an sexually assault victim may be hard to live with.
      It’s a catch 22 situation as I would like to know if such a deviant person was living next door to me.

  10. Bermudian says:

    I don’t agree with naming the alleged sex offender, but his/her name should absolutely be published to prevent any future acts on innocent victims if found guilty. Those found guilty of such crimes should be required to tattoo sex offender on their forehead. For all those who want to go on about human rights, he/she should have thought about that when they decided to violate someone.

  11. ABM says:

    He should be named once convicted not before as it can casue all types of shytstorms if he is inoccent. Also, why was the victim named as well? “publishing the name of a man charged with a sexual offence and the name of the alleged complainant”

  12. Pastor Syl says:

    If society were not so judgmental, victims of sex crimes wouldn’t need to be protected. As it stands, even if the perpetrator is found guilty, there are always some few folk who try the victim in the court of public opinion and often hand down a guilty verdict. “She must have asked for it,” she shouldn’t have been there”; “she shouldn’t have been out so late”; “she should have worn different clothing,” etc., etc.

    When we have more empathy for the victim,then we may be able to effect a change in this law.

  13. My Two Cents says:

    I don’t feel they should name the man unless he is found guilty. Speaking from personal experience, I know there are some nasty women (and I want to use another word) that will tell lies that could destroy a man’s life. Years ago, my fiancé was accused of raping a woman. He was named in the media, but was acquitted of the crime. Although found not guilty, his life was ruined- along with mine. As it turned out, the young woman thought she was pregnant but was afraid to tell her ultra- conservative, christian parents. Her motive for accusing my man of rape was that if she was pregnant she could blame the pregnancy on that. Even now if you google his name that story will come up which just isn’t fair to him. The only exception to not naming him (in the case of being found guilty) is in the case of incest or molesting a family member. I think in that case it will embarrass the victim unnecessarily. In a case such as that, the family all know about it and will warn others to watch out for “Uncle Joe” or stay away from Grandpa. Some of those guys are opportunists and will only target those close to him. If he presents a danger to all of society, then hang his photo on every lamp post you can find.

  14. Retired Broadcast Journalist says:

    The names of those involved in a sexual assault case should not be named unless someone has been found guilty and then only if it will not harm the victim. Radio and TV newsrooms often employ inexperienced staff who are not aware of the law occasionally stories that should not make it to air do. It is important newsroom staff are made aware to check all police and court stories with their News Director who should be a well seasoned journalist who know’s what is right and wrong.

    retired journalist who worked in radio and tv for 40 years.

  15. polo says:

    if u go up for one joint of herb they will give name and photo of u why not blast the sex offenders and stop protecting them

    • Will says:

      so bernews..whats his name? i guess i missed the report on BBC
      don’t think you can be fined as well for giving his name as its already been publicly stated
      also i agree with above can you name someone for a spliff which has never harmed anybody but you can’t name a sex offender..and for those who say what if he is innocent.well what if he’s guilty..don’t people ever consider two sides of the argument anymore?
      this just goes to show the majority of us are fed up with these kinds of crimes now..been too many to count in the past few days in our news..