(ZIZ News) — The court has awarded about half a million dollars to a couple in Nevis who were the victims of a sex video scandal three years ago.
According to the couple’s lawyer, Angelina Sookoo, in 2013 the male victim was in police custody at the Charlestown Police Station in connection with a robbery.
Two police officers reportedly took the SIM card out of the victim’s phone and viewed the contents. Among them was a video of the male and his then girlfriend in an sexual situation.
Sookoo said the police officers then distributed the video via WhatsApp and from there it spread to other social media sites.
On Monday morning Justice Lorraine Williams delivered the decision in favour of the defendants.
“She sound that there was a breach in their right to privacy, their right to property and their right not to be arbitrarily searched. The court came down very strongly and used very strong but relevant words to warn police officers and other members of the government that have common law powers that those powers ought not to be used or exercised in a manner that it was in this particular case. As a result of the decision the female claimant was awarded, more or less, $350,000 and the male was awarded $150,000,” she said.
Lawyer Sookoo said the decision now means that anyone else who’s been a victim in a similar situation can take the matter to court.
“Persons who are victims of this can now sue, whether it happened before this decision or after. But it has to be within a six-year time limit of when the action happened. So for example, if, let’s say, two years ago you had a similar incident, you can sue because you would have six years since the tape was distributed. You would have six years to sue,” she said.
She added “What it just means is that persons who may not have known that there was some relief that they could get, there is a relief which the court recognizes. So it can apply to matters that have happened in the past but it must be within a six year time limit.”
Sookoo noted that the Court did not focus on the actual recording of the act but rather stressed that anyone who comes into contact with intimate material belonging to another has the legal responsibility to not share it.
ZIZ News understands that the police officers involved in this case are facing disciplinary measures.