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HomeNewsFamily Seeking Justice After 80-Year-Old Kawartha Lakes Resident Allegedly Raped In Bahamas

Family Seeking Justice After 80-Year-Old Kawartha Lakes Resident Allegedly Raped In Bahamas

KAWARTHA LAKES-“It’s the worst day of your life scenario,” says David Ahrens after being told his 80-year-old mother had reportedly been abducted and raped in the Bahamas in January. “It’s very upsetting, it’s unimaginable.”

Ahren’s mother lives in Kawartha Lakes and was on a short vacation staying at the Warwick Hotel in the Bahamas with his sister when the incident happened. Ahrens says his mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and the family is very careful not to leave her alone.

It only took seconds for her to disappear according to Ahrens. He told Kawartha 411 that his mother and the family member were on an elevator going back to their room when another guest from Canada got into the elevator. When the elevator stopped at their floor his sister got off and before his mom could follow, the doors were closed and she was gone.

Ahrens says the family member and other guests they had met frantically began searching for her but he claims the staff at the Warwick Hotel were less than helpful.

“They pleaded with the hotel to call the police, to check the security cameras, and check the guest registry as they knew the suspect was from Nova Scotia but the hotel refused repeatedly for 30 minutes.”Ahrens says. “The hotel is really in the crosshairs and we will probably take legal action against them.”

About 30 minutes after she went missing she was found holding her undergarments according to Ahrens. Fellow guests detained the suspect and police were called.

“My mother understood what happened. She gave a very detailed statement. They took her to the hospital and did a rape kit which of course came back positive. The Bahamian Police have been exceptional at making sure this guy was prosecuted very very quickly.” Ahrens told Kawartha 411 News.

Local media in the Bahamas is reporting that a 61-year-old from Nova Scotia has been charged with rape. He was denied bail and could face life in prison if convicted.

The Canadian government had issued a travel advisory for the Bahamas after Ahren’s mom had arrived in the country. The government warns travellers to Exercise a high degree of caution in the Bahamas due to high rates of crime, especially in Freeport and Nassau.

Sexual assault occurs frequently in The Bahamas, particularly near hotels, in hotel rooms, in casinos, on cruise ships and on the beach according to the advisory issued by Canada. Reported incidents are on the rise in Nassau, including on Paradise Island. In some cases, the victim was drugged.

  • Be wary when embarking on jet-ski rides with licensed or unlicensed operators, as several incidents of sexual assault have been reported
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and avoid using drugs
  • Don’t accept rides from strangers or from unlicensed taxi drivers

Officials offer this advice for women travellers:

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Although none of this would have helped Ahrens mom.

“The travel advisory wasn’t on their radar when she booked it and when they left. But really they were referring to Bahamain crime because there had been so many murders and assaults. It’s so infuriating that it’s another Canadian,” exclaims Ahrens. “Bahamians are outraged at this particularly because it’s a foreigner assaulting a foreigner and it’s an 80-year-old woman, to them it’s everyone’s grandmother or mother.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with legal and other expenses. Click here for more information: https://www.gofundme.com/f/MomJustice?qid=52fed2bc810954bca0dfc9b899c055c1

“My priorities are my mother and justice. She’s a vulnerable person who was literally taken advantage of in the most horrific way.”

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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