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UPDATE — Arrests Made in St. Maarten Gay Bashing Case

Bamboo_bernies_1Two new arrests have been made in connection with last month's gay bashing of Dick Jefferson and Ryan Smith on the island of St. Maarten. Prosecutor Taco Stein said that a man and a woman, both of whom live on the French side of the island (St. Martin), have been taken into custody under suspicion of inflicting grievous bodily harm to the two men. One man is already being held.

Stein says more arrests are probable.

I heard from Dick Jefferson a week ago. He was on his way back to the island to pursue the case further. Jefferson told me then that an agreement between the Dutch and the French to work on the case is very rare and offered some information on the man already being held: "Under the Dutch system you can hold anyone as long as you want as long as they are relevant to the case. The guy 'may' have been in the car, but doubt it. More likely, he was with them inside the bar."


I heard from Dick Jefferson today.
He writes:

"The arrests are a direct result, according to the Prosecutor, of the continued news coverage of the events and the agreement between the French and Dutch to cooperate. The suspects who turned themselves in were pressured by their families to do so, otherwise be caught and have to spend time in the French prison on Guadeloupe, rather than the Dutch prison in St. Maarten. I hope the friends and family of the other assailants will see the wisdom in helping the island recover from this brutality and cooperate with the authorities, or even better, convince them to turn themselves in. If the entire island works as one, they will realize there is no where to run, no where to hide, and no way to win."

Thanks, Dick. I'm glad to hear they are making progress and bravo to your efforts. With continued attention I hope the rest of these criminals will be caught soon.

For those of you wanting an update on Ryan, Dick pointed me to this recent piece in the Miami Herald which includes an audio interview. Ryan is staying in Miami Beach during his recovery and still has trouble writing and speaking. Towleroad wishes him a speedy recovery...

St. Maarten Gay Bash Update II [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash update [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash Attack Victim Speaks Out [tr]
Brutal Gay Bashing on St. Maarten [tr]

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  1. Anyone heard anything about the aphasia Ryan Smith has been battling as a result of the attack? How's he doing?

    Posted by: Brian | May 10, 2006 9:38:28 AM

  2. You know, I'm not usually one to fall victim to a kneejerk reaction and say that a situation like the Palm Beach School Board's blocking gay sites is inherently discriminatory, but it's quite obvious that it is... It's so odd how different cultures can be considering how close S. Miami Beach and Palm Beach are to each other.... Night and day....

    Posted by: Zach | May 10, 2006 11:51:36 AM

  3. I'm sad it takes this kind of world pressure to make local authorities act on such blatantly heinous crimes, but at the same time I'm hopeful that this will serve as an example of how the public won't stand for this kind of thuggery anymore and will demand it be dealt with.

    Is there any word on whether the police themselves have been dealt with for their inaction and callous attitude?

    Posted by: MT | May 11, 2006 8:18:48 AM

  4. Thanks for the update, Andy. I was expecting Ryan Smith to look a lot worse than what he does in the picture. Nice to see and read that both he and the investigation are making progress!

    Posted by: virgoboy (FKA "Joey") | May 11, 2006 9:47:57 AM

  5. The Dutch seem to have learned their lesson the hard way with the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba.

    Glad to hear they've finally got their shit together. But we haven't seen convictions in either case yet, so the Dutch still have to prove their resolve to catch and prosecute their criminals.

    Posted by: Jay Croce | May 13, 2006 11:39:21 AM

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