Kaieteur News – Every circumstance, every detail, every dimension of this violent rape warranted a life sentence. Instead, the monster got 11 years. Read the details of what this Guyanese man did to a Venezuelan woman.
First he raped her. Then, she got away by jumping through a glass window. He ran behind her brutally stabbing her several times. As she held on to the knife, he began to beat her with a tube filled with cement. Instead of being charged with rape and attempted murder, he was charged with rape and assault.
In court, he was found guilty. Thurston Semple, the accused showed absolutely no remorse while addressing the court. Semple will serve eight years because in Guyana, a year in prison term is nine months. Given all the circumstances in this case, eight years is completely unacceptable in the 21st century. Semple is on two more rape charges. Semple appears to be a serial rapist.
I journeyed to the High Court to interview the judge that assigned 45 years to a man who was accused of inserting his finger into the vagina of a so-called underage girl. Please see my column of Wednesday, September 23, 2015. I stated in that column that I also went to speak to the DPP. Her secretary did not allow me to speak to her. That September 23 article described what took place at the DPP’s office.
I don’t believe in any other country on Planet Earth, what Semple did to that woman would have resulted in such a low sentence. He was given 11 years for the rape and 4 years for the assault but the 4-year penalty had absolutely no importance because it was subsumed under the rape sentence.
Semple’s jail term should be appealed by the DPP and the Judicial Service Commission must intervene. Semple is an evil man. The victim asked for a life sentence. She is a Venezuelan who came to this country to make a living. She told the court, she engages in sex work to care for her three children. She also told the court that Semple did not use a condom and gave her a sexually transmitted disease. This is a man not fit to be in society but will be in society after eight years.
What about the Bar Association’s role in this situation? Let’s visit a statement made by attorney Ralph Ramkarran. Writing in his Stabroek News column about civil society entities in this country. Mr. Ramkarran wrote: “Civil society bodies can play a major role in improving Guyanese life, not only in areas of transparency and accountability but in other areas not having as much sex appeal.”
What does Mr. Ramkarran mean? He was referring to civil society groups that can identify crucial areas of life in Guyana that need attention and not concentrate on issues that bring publicity. Since his remark, Mr. Ramkarran told this nation that he got a “good cussing out” for his statement (see my column of Friday, May 13, 2022 titled, “I get some good cussing out”).
It is almost a week since that sentence was passed on Semple and there has been no civil society entity that has pronounced on this inexplicable decision. Is it because she is a Venezuelan refugee? Is it because she is a sex worker? Or is it because this particular case will not bring publicity to those who are always seeking it in civil society?
So what brings the limelight to those seeking publicity? Attacking the government brings fame. Lamenting lack of good governance catapults them into the nation’s eyes. Demanding that the government renegotiate the oil contract has sex appeal (to use Ramkarran’s term). Hitting the government on the shape of the Natural Resource Fund has sex appeal. Lambasting the parliamentarian for his dildo comment brings plenty publicity. And the story goes on about civil society in Guyana.
There are more than 200 independent nations in this world represented at the United Nations. Some are big, some are small, some are rich, some are poor but it is the contestation of this commentator that in no other country, what Semple did would have carried a jail term that would see him be freed after eight years. This is how Guyana deals with violent rape?
This poor soul that fled Venezuelan misery and expected a life of comfort in Guyana was brutally raped, brutally beaten by an unremorseful monster and this nation of Guyana that has its own quota of refugees in dozens of other countries has stood silent on what happened to this lady. Guyanese with a conscience must come to this woman’s rescue. Semple’s strange sentence must be denounced.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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