Two teenage girls were robbed, kidnapped, sexually assaulted and held for ransom for nearly two and a half hours between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash yesterday.
Police did not initially report the incident.
“I could confirm that there was an armed robbery, kidnapping and a sexual assault on two females who are teenagers,” Cash told The Nassau Guardian when called for information on the matter.
“Subsequent to that, the perpetrator had made contact to family members requesting monies from them.
“The police had engaged the suspect. They were able to make good on their escape. However, we have three Bahamian males in custody who may be responsible for this incident.”
Cash said the girls, who are in their teens but are not juveniles, were taken around 11:30 p.m. from the area of Nassau Court in the area of McDonald’s downtown.
He said police received the report around 1 a.m.
While he would not disclose how the girls managed to get away, Cash said they are now “safely in the care of their families”.
He noted that a medical examination of both victims has to be conducted, but they are fine otherwise.
Cash also would not reveal how much ransom was requested, just that the suspects asked for cash payment.
Upon receiving the call, police mounted an operation but the suspects were able to elude them during that operation.
The suspects are believed to be in their mid to early 20’s.
Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson’s 2019 police plan calls for a more aggressive approach to tackling sexual offenses.
National Security Minister Marvin Dames tabled the plan in the House of Assembly last month.
“In 2018, I prioritized six key areas necessary to garner more meaningful and sustainable results for safety and security,” Ferguson said in the foreword of the document.
“With the keen knowledge that crime is fluid, I remain committed to last year’s priority areas.
“However, I felt it necessary to expand and prioritize sexual exploitation and abuse.
“While the police force has always viewed such criminal acts as sensitive matters, prioritizing these areas garners a more national platform in which all stakeholders can collectively strive to generate awareness and reduce or eliminate such incidences.”
The more aggressive approach to tackling sexual offenses comes as police reported a rise in reported rapes in 2018.
Police recorded 55 incidents of rape last year, compared to 52 in 2017, an increase of six percent.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications