Barbados man cleared of raping tourists

Dec. 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM
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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A Barbados man was cleared of rape Thursday after 18 months in jail when his alleged victims, both British tourists, said he was not the man who attacked them.

A magistrate in Barbados dismissed the charges against Derick Crawford, 47, The Guardian reported. Rachel Turner, 30, from Hertfordshire and Diane Davies, 63, of Anglesey had campaigned for his release and said they would testify for the defense.

"They are extremely gutsy women, extremely brave, and I am completely amazed at what they have done," Crawford's lawyer, Andrew Pilgrim, said.

Turner, who was researching marine resource management at the University of the West Indies, and Davies, a retired teacher, were assaulted within two days of each other at the same place in Holetown St. James in 2010. They both described the rapist as in his early 30s and, when Crawford was arrested in 2011 said he did not look or sound like the man.

Turner attended the hearing in Barbados and called the investigation as "sham."

"It's outrageous that is the only way we could be heard," she said. "I still cannot believe that the police systematically ignored our protests that they had arrested the wrong man, and this was the only way we could get anyone to listen to us."

Davies told the Guardian from her home in Valley, Anglesey, that she and Turner "paid a tough price" by fighting for Crawford. She said she was concerned about an innocent man being accused and also wanted to catch the man who actually raped her.

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