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Alleged sexual assault victim cries foul

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She claims that she is a victim of a bogus investigation, and now Canada based, Trinidadian attorney Margaret Parsons (name used with her permission) says that she is going all the way with her sexual assault accusation against Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

On Friday, April 4, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, (DPP) stepped in and wholly discontinued the charge made by Parsons that she was sexually assaulted by Dr Ralph Gonsalves. This is after an April 14th date had been set for matter to be heard at the Family Court.

“I am actually quite shocked, because it doesn’t appear that the DPP has taken my complaint seriously,” Parsons charged.

Parsons told SEARCHLIGHT that since the complaint was filed with the Commissioner of Police on February 22nd, she has made it clear that she is willing to cooperate fully with the investigations.

Parsons, who is a human rights lawyer, said that between March 19th and March 29th, she was in communication with Assistant Commissioner of Police Ekron Lockhart and DPP Colin Williams, and has been cooperating fully.

“I was willing to answer any and all questions related to this matter, and I thought it would have been better that we have an in-person meeting, because it would (have) allow(ed) us to have enough and sufficient time to answer any of the questions, and it will allow for a thorough investigation,” Parsons told SEARCHLIGHT.

Parsons said that while she planned to be in St Vincent on April 12th to prepare for the now canceled Family Court hearing, she was ready to make any adjustment to her flight, once the DPP or police authorities requested this of her.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, the DPP declined to give reasons for filing the notice of discontinuance, but said that a “fulsome report” will be given in due course.

However, Searchlight understands that one issue that has come up is that Parsons originally swore in an affidavit in February this year that the alleged incident took place in 2004, but now claims that date was an error, and in fact, the incident took place in 2003.

“I thought it was 2004”

“When I filed the original complaint I thought it was 2004, … (then) I realized it was January 2003 (that) I was vacationing in St Vincent,” she said.

She claims that it was during this vacation that she had a meeting with Dr Gonsalves at his office to discuss matters relating to the pushing of the cause of human rights in the discussions of the new constitution, which was ongoing at that time.

It is at this alleged meeting that Parsons claims that Dr Gonsalves sexually assaulted her.

Usually reliable sources also told SEARCHLIGHT that other issues that may have contributed to the discontinuance are the length of time Parsons waited to file the action and the fact that persons who Parsons mentioned in her statement are distancing themselves from what she said.

Why wait so long to file action, SEARCHLIGHT asked Parsons? Is it a political witch-hunt?

Parsons’ reply is that she has no ulterior motive and is only now feeling empowered to take action.

“It is when I felt empowered to come forward, and to speak out,” she said.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that when she heard of the case involving the police woman who made similar accusations, she felt the need to come forward.

“I have tried with her”

Parsons accused the DPP and COP of seeking Dr Gonsalves’ interest over hers, and his other accuser.

This, the DPP vehemently denies. “I don’t know what she means by that. I have tried with her. I am the one who bent over backwards to reach out to her. I called her. I faxed her. I emailed her. She would communicate with me at my home, on weekends, at nights; and I am seeking the Prime Minister’s interest, and I tried to accommodate her?” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

Parsons, who has been an attorney for 10 years, told SEARCHLIGHT that she has no intention of backing down and will tell her story, and will pursue this matter all the way.

Meanwhile, her attorney, Kay Bacchus Browne, who also represents the police woman who also alleged sexual misconduct on Dr Gonsalves’ part, says that she is appalled at the DPP’s handling of this matter.

“It is a very sad day, the saddest day for the administration of justice,” Bacchus Browne said.

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