Police Call Rape Reports Rumors


This sign warning women to hitch and hike with caution was posted at Mongoose Junction on Friday, May 9.

Police officials are refuting reports appearing online and over local radio airwaves about a series of rapes on St. John.

VI Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames said, however, there were three reported incidents since May 2 that had some sexual connotation. One of the three reports was determined to be unfounded, she said.

All three incidents were described by complainants as taking place in different locations. Rames also said police took the initial reports seriously enough to locate the author of some Facebook posts claiming four to five rapes had taken place along a St. John park trail.

“They determined from the interview with the subject who had posted it on Facebook that it was all hearsay,” Rames said. “There was no basis in fact.”

A visitor to the Virgin Islands also told relative they heard the incidents related to a radio talk show host over a popular FM station Monday night.

Officials at the National Park Service say they had not heard about the situation.
“I haven’t heard anything about that at all,” said VINP spokeperson Paul Thomas.
As late as May 6, a flyer was seen posted on the bulletin board at Starfish Supermarket at the Marketplace, bearing the word “Warning.”
The flyer said there were a number of rapes along Salomon trail. It warned hikers about a possible danger. But Rames said there are no corresponding reports made to the Zone D Command in Cruz Bay.
On May 2 a woman reported being confronted by two males in the Gifft Hill area. “She said she was approached by the assailants who took her wallet and sexually assaulted her,” Rames said.
The same day a caller to the 911 police emergency line reported an incident that was initially classified as a sexual assault. Upon further investigation police said the victim sustained a punch to the middle section but there was nothing of a sexual nature involved.
Rames said a female complainant said she walked onto a park trail to relieve herself and while in the act was confronted by a male who verbally abused and struck her.
“It was later reclassified as a aggravated assault and battery,” the police spokesperson said.
In the third instance, reported on May 8, a caller to police reported lewd behavior by a male near Salt Pond but Rames said when officers responded to the scene they found no one.
That incident was listed as unfounded.