By Linda Straker
Police in the eastern parish of St Andrew have confirmed that an investigation has started into the illegal posting of personal pornographic type photos online of a number of young Grenadian women some of whom are students.
The photos first surfaced online via the social media site Facebook; they were soon removed after persons reported that the photos violated the terms and conditions the site. However, some people had already captured and saved the photos and shared them using email lists and other social media app such as WhatsApp.
It is understood that a number of young ladies have filed complaints to the Police in St Andrew and this has prompted the Criminal Investigation Department to commence the investigations, to determine how the photos were obtained and then posted on social media.
“These photos were private and never shared with anyone. My only recollection of it becoming exposed was when I took the phone to a repair shop. I was having problems with the phone, so I took it to this repair shop and left it there for repairs, so that is how I believe the photos were downloaded from my phone and uploaded,” said one young lady who is affected by the exposure.
“I never shared it with anyone. I never gave it to anyone, but it ended up on Facebook and this other site featuring Grenadian ladies, so I want to know how it got there,” she added.
The photos not only feature students who are not yet of the age of sexual consent, from prestigious secondary schools, but also young women throughout the island, some of whom are employed.
According to someone close to the investigation, the photos first appeared on a pornographic website which has a page featuring ladies from a few other Caribbean islands. The server is based in the US. One photo on the Grenada page received more than 1,700 views, while some of the comments were describing the ability of girls from the different parish. “Victoria chicks are the craziest. you just gotta love them” said one comment, while another said “Every single one of them pure Grenadian sweetness.”
A number of pieces of legislation are expected to be used in the investigation. Among them will be the recently approved Electronic Crimes Act, which refers to publishing of child pornography and the publishing of pornographic materials online; and the Criminal Code which had a number of amendments in 2012 related to sexual related offenses.
Under the Electronic Crimes Act, a conviction on indictment can see a person getting a fine not exceeding $200,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years; and in the event of second or subsequent conviction, a fine not exceeding $300,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.
The Electronic Crimes Act provides for Internet Service Providers to provide information to the police without notifying the person using the unique internet address, once the necessary court orders are obtained. Persons who share the photos can also be charge for redistributing.